At PA Healthcare, we focus on our patients’ needs and safety as a matter of our professional responsibilities. This is especially important when it comes to lifting and moving patients.
Lifting Patients: How to Move a Person Safely
Even the lightest patients are likely to weigh more than 100 pounds, which is the amount of weight that any experienced nurse, sports physician, physical therapist or weightlifter can tell you is more than enough weight to injure yourself if you’re not careful.
It’s crucial to use patient moving devices when you can, and when you’re lifting a patient, you should keep the following rules in mind for moving and handling them safely:
- Know how much your patient weighs
- Know your own strength and be realistic about how much weight you can comfortably lift
- Have a plan – know the positions they’re moving from and moving to
- Communicate with your patient throughout the process – tell them what you are going to do before you do it
- Use a patient lift if you can to make the transition as smooth and comfortable as possible for both of you
- Lift with your legs, not your back – keep your spine straight, knees over your feet, and push through your heels
- Do not twist your body when lifting
- Tighten your abs while moving a patient. This stabilizes your torso and helps protect you from hernias
- Have a colleague help you lift your patient if necessary
These rules aren’t particularly hard to implement, but it’s easy to forget them in the rush of your day-to-day work. Remember that by following the above rules, you are not only ensuring the safety of your patient, but your own health and safety as well.
Preventive measures are equally important. Even if you move your patients with meticulous care, wear and tear on your body can set in, which is why you should do regular exercises to protect your spine, shoulders and rotator cuffs from repetitive motion injuries.
Mobility beyond the Home or Hospital
You shouldn’t rely on your own strength to support your patient for significant distances, and you can’t always bring a full standard or electric wheelchair everywhere.
Of course, purchasing multiple wheelchairs isn’t a viable option, especially if your patient isn’t going to need them permanently, which is why renting a wheelchair from PA Healthcare could be your best option. The San Diego area has plenty of need for caretakers and patient-moving devices. If you need help moving patients, get in touch with PA Healthcare for medical equipment rentals in San Diego.