“It happened so fast. I could not let her fall. I used all of my strength to keep her safe. Now I am suffering from severe back pain and I cannot move.” We hear her story and many like it from care workers every day. According to the USA Department of Labor, nurses suffer more injuries than any other profession. Imagine nurses suffer back problems higher than construction workers and movers.
We call the act of lifting and moving a loved one from one place to another as transfers. Transferring is one of the most frequent movement needed to assist with all the Activities of Daily Living including; dressing, bathing, toileting, eating, grooming and moving from place to place for all other tasks. Nurses and caregivers need to practice safe transfers at all times. Sometimes this means slowing down, taking a deep breath to settle your thoughts and properly evaluate what is about to happen. No doubt this is easier said than done in the heat of the moment.
The Department of Labor has a checklist for transfer safety. We encourage you to practice all of these every day in every way.
- Don’t try anything you think might be unsafe.
- If needed, get help from another person.
- Keep your loved one close to your body while you are assisting.
- Bend your knees—not your back—while moving him or her.
- Do not twist at the waist.
- Try to turn your whole body. Have your loved one put his or her arms around your body, NOT your neck.
- Do not pull with your arms or your back.
- Keep your feet at least as wide apart as your shoulders.
- Position your feet with one forward, the other back.
We created this #CreditForCaring bundle using our expertise in safe patient transfers. Credit For Caring aims to recover some of your personal time and energy with our care management tools and resources. We believe that preserving human dignity and independence rank as the highest human aspiration despite any physical limitations that beset us. Our healthcare team believes in proactive planning for life’s what if’s.