Health & Safety
Patient Hoisting (Part One)
In my recent Blog, Manual Handling in the NHS, 5th January 2022, I spoke about how techniques and equipment including patient hoists are changing all the time, That staff need to keep themselves up to date with training so that the techniques and the equipment used is the safest for themselves, their colleagues, and the people they are caring for.
When I first came across a Patient Hoist during my nursing career I was shocked that this equipment was going to be able to move a patient without dropping or hurting them in any way. I was quite alarmed when we were told that as Nurses we would not be manually lifting patients anymore. That using this contraption was required instead. I call it a contraption here because that it was it felt like to me at the time. It was new to me and if I am honest it did scare me a little. I remember trying to avoid using it for as long as I could and I wasn’t the only one!
Once I was given the relevant training and understood why it was replacing manual lifting it made sense to me. Using a hoist was going to make moving and handling a patient easier to do, more comfortable, safer for everyone involved and help reduce back problems in healthcare staff.
Types of Hoist
The first hoist I used was one that you had to pump up. There was no remote control to press to raise or lower the hoist. Now we have hoists that can sit you up and lay you down at the touch of a button. There are now also, mobile hoists, standing and raising hoists, gantry hoists and ceiling track hoists. There are so many different kinds available, with different attachments and Safe Weight Limits (SWL)
Hoisting in the Future
A while ago I watched a program that showed a robot picking up a person and moving them to a chair. They said in the program that this was going to be a thing of the future and would help healthcare staff with their jobs. When seeing this I felt it was very cold and scary looking and somewhat impersonal. I then thought back to using a hoist for the first time and remembered that I felt very similar then as I was now!
Things are going to change, and we need adapt to this change. Make Moving and Handling Training a part of this change.
Please see Part 2 of this Blog