lifting patients

  1. Ive just been reading another thread and noticed lots of mentions of male nurses being used to lift and move patients. Is manual lifting still common out there?
    I'm one of our trusts (NHS, Im in Scotland) Moving & Handling Link Nurses, where I work we never manually lift clients and all repositioning is done using moving aids which limit physical stress to the nurse.
    I dont work in an acute medical setting, I support adults with learning disabilities, and I know that in some settings such as emergency depts manual handling cant be avoided but I was just wondering if was still common elsewhere?
    I always tell my staff to remember that there not only protecting themselves from back injuries but also protecting our clients from injuries relating to poor manual handling techniques.
    Let me know what you think and what goes on in your area.
  2. Visit lisamct profile page

    About lisamct

    Joined: Sep '02; Posts: 350; Likes: 54
    Specialty: learning disabilities/midwifery


  3. by   tattooednursie
    In my long term care facility I lift about 30 residents per day depending on what hall I have, and also with helping others. there is only a few hoyer patients. I do the hoyer pateints by myself most of the time, but it is saposed to be a 2 person thing, and a few others are 2 person transfers. there is 4 hoyer patients. And then we have about 5 transfers that I cannot or won't do by myself. the rest i can lift by myself. A few more years in this job and I will look like one of those woman pro-wrestlers.
  4. by   Sleepyeyes
    Gee, Lisa, you can probably help us here! In the US, we manually lift people and it is the worst!!

    If you can, please detail your no-lift policies and point us to some internet pictures of your equipment so that we can compare results?

    In the US, nurses are "trained to lift" but an article I read yesterday says that there is NO WAY to lift human beings without hurting your back. I sure would like to get some relief.
  5. by   lisamct
    I'm really surprised that you still manually lift, our governing body the Nursing & Midwifery Council and our governments Health & Safety executive actually made it so that you can have your registration taken away if your found to be manually lifting patients and every trust must have a specific Moving & Handling policy and trained M & H trainers.
    We use hoists of various types to move all non ambulatory patients, we also use stand aids and other moving aids to assist anyone who has difficulty mobilising, such as, turntables, transfer boards etc.
    If we are assisting people to reposition in bed we use sliding sheets of varoius types.
    Also, we only ever attempt any moving and handling procedures with 2 nurses unless in an emergency situation. Oh and everyone that requires any type of M & H assistance must have a risk assesment completed for all procedures.
    All of our staff employed by the NHS must complete moving and handling training on initially taking up post and update yearly, we also have M & H link nurses ( like me!) who work in various clinical areas as nurses but also provide ''on the job'' advice on moving and handling issues in the workplace.
    Hope this helps,
  6. by   nursegoodguy
    I've worked in both kinds of facilities, non lifting (only using machines) and facilities where all they had was an old hoyer... The modern lifting machines work great, (as long as the proper machine is used and the patient does not exceed the weight limit) but the problem seemed to be the staff not wanting to take the extra time or not having the extra time to use a machine!
  7. by   lisamct
    Sleepyeyes, here are some links that might be useful to you :

    Nursegoodguy, when we first stopped all manual lifting it took some time for staff to see the benefits rather than seeing it as just another time wasting exercise. That was about 10 years ago and now, certainly in my area staff would be shocked if anyone even suggested manual lifting.We do have a good pollicy of ensuring every new member of staff gets their moving and handling training within their first few days on the job and the Link nurses keep a close eye o everyone elses practce so I guess staff have just got used to it being the way of things.
    I must admit I'm grateful for it, I certainly wouldnt like to start manually lifting clients. One down side however is we still have staff suffering back injuries from attempting to manouver hoists on poor choices of floor coverings, such as carpet rather than lino, were working on changing that though!!
  8. by   BadBird
    I have never seen those machines that you speak of, it would be great to use though. No wonder why nurses hurt their backs so often.
  9. by   2MagnoliaTrees
    Although I work in a Special Populations class in an elementary school now, I do lift at least 2 students at least twice a day for changes and to be put on cots for nap. One is no problem. A sweet little boy with CP that barely weighs anything. The other is a sweet girl with Rhetts but she is much heavier and sometimes doesn't bare her own weight. The teacher, the other aide and I take turns lifting her. For a while I could hardly walk when I got up or sat down and my back constantly hurt. After x-rays and a total body bone scan there was nothing abnormal found but I truly think lifting the little girl is what caused and/or irritated it. But I didn't make the school pay because I have scoliosis myself and the tests all came back negative for fractures, tears, or anything abnormal. I was given Vioxx for a month (which helped tremendously) and have just finished my perscription so we will see how it goes. She's having back surgery during Thanksgiving break and will be out until January so maybe our backs can get better. We love her as we love all of our students but the lifting does take a major toll. I'm tall so I lift with my back mostly. The other ladies are short so they lift with their stomach muscles and lower backs.
  10. by   Tweety
    Our only lifting devices are up on the rehab floor. We're on our own manually lifting, pulling and tugging on all our patients.
  11. by   lisamct
    Manual lifting is viewed as such a dangerous practice that no employer here could get away with expecting their staff to do it. Nurses here have been successfully suing for compensation for back injuries caused by either lack of or unsuitable moving aides or not enough staff to effectively use provided equipment. I think in the last published case the nurse won 450,000.
    Like everywhere though Im sure there's people who continue to manually lift, our local hospital out patients dept. is always stunned that we wont lift our guys out of their chairs if they have to attend clinics. They're even more shocked that we wont let them lift them out themselves, they dont understand that were not only protecting their backs but our clients from injury.
    Im getting obssesive about this tread now, i feel urged to respond to everyones replies as its so alien to me to hear about nurses still lifting, surely there's something that can be done about it, I wish I was over there I'd kick those hospital managers butts for continuing to let my nursing collegues put themselves at risk on a daily basis.
  12. by   Sleepyeyes
    sorry lisa--the link didn't work

    yep; and it's in our job description that we need to be able to manually lift 60 lbs. (or 132 kg) by ourselves if necessary, so that covers the employers' butts.

    If we get injured and we're put on a "light duty" basis, we're often subtly coerced into lifting manually due to short-staffing.

    For instance--as a CNA, one time I had 30 patients by myself on 3-11 shift. There simply was no way to avoid manually lifting these folks in and out of bed, pulling them up in bed, etc. Even if I'd used a Hoyer lift, between myself and the other CNA assigned to that unit, we would've handled 60 people at least twice during the shift.

    (nurses only passed the pills; CNA's did all the lifts and pt care)

    (yes it was a nightmare--our usual patient load on that unit was 13-16 patients and that was bad enough.)

    And actually--the worst offenders are the nursing homes, not so much the hospitals, but still.... i'm reallyreally envious of anything that would keep people from having to suffer like i do with my back today from all the lifting.
    Last edit by Sleepyeyes on Nov 17, '02
  13. by   lisamct
    Sorry Sleepyeyes, try going to the main site;
    if you click on living aids it should get you to the link for moving & handling equipment.As for the other link, well i guess I'll just have to pass on that one, sorry, you could try their main site; I think theyve got a search facility, try searching for hoists or sliding sheets, that should get you somewhere useful, I hope!
    Let me know if its still not working and I'll check it out again.
    I cant believe its actually in your contract that you have to be able to manually lift a certain weight.Do you get training on how to lift these weights, I cant imagine that you do as there is no safe way to teach people to do it. All our staff are covered by the no manual lifting rule, that includes housekeeping staff, cleaners, kitchen staff and office staff, they even have a trolley if they have to carry more than one set of notes!
    I guess our staff : patient ratio is better as well which helps. I have 10 clients in my unit, 4 independantly mobile, 6 completely dependant and we always have at least 1 nurse and 2/3 nursing assistants per shift.
    Last edit by lisamct on Nov 17, '02
  14. by   Sleepyeyes
    thanks! that one works!

    and oh yeah, here's one for the Catch-22 department: our government programs won't reimburse for transfer boards because they're "more for the caregiver's back than the pt"

    so none of the nursing homes i've ever worked in has had them.

Must Read Topics