Safe hoist transfers top priority

L-R: Westmead Hospital clinical nurse educator Ondine Kennard-King, manual handling training co-ordinator Jan Farrell, clinical nurse specialist Gyan Mudliar and manual handling program co-ordinator Clementia Yap with one of the Patient Safety 1st signs.

Western Sydney Local Health District is ensuring staff continue to make safety the top priority when using hoists to move patients.

New Patient Safety 1st signs have been attached to all hoists or lifters, while cards with the same message have been given to staff to attach to their ID badges.

The signs and cards promote the “3Rs” of hoist transfers – the right lifter, the right sling and the right staff.

Director of Clinical Governance Luke Sloane said “the right lifter” referred to the need to choose a hoist with a safe work load (SWL) rating that is sufficient to support the patient.

“The right sling is one that has a connection that matches the hoist,” he said.

“A clip sling, for example, can only be used on a clip lifter and a loop sling with a loop lifter.”

Mr Sloane said staff should be aware that sling sizes were not consistent across manufacturers.

“This variation in sizing/fit results in different patient positioning and it is important to choose a sling that eliminates the possibility of the patient slipping out,” he said.

He said the right staff was a reminder to ensure the correct number of people were on hand to safely perform the patient transfer.

The awareness campaign is aimed at minimising the chances of a patient falling from a sling.

It is being supported by in-service training.

“The training is not just for nurses and should concern the majority of clinical staff including, for example, occupational therapists and orderly staff – in other words anyone who is involved in patient handling,” said Mr Sloane.

“If you haven’t yet attended the training, please contact your allocated departmental manual handling trainer and/or educator.

Further information can be at the following intranet site:—Safety/WHS-Manual-Handling-Program


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