Qualified moving and handling training is extremely important for those who work in a care environment. Or, anywhere where such activity is a necessary part of the working day. When performed correctly, it helps create a safer environment for patients, residents, and care-givers alike. If not performed correctly, it has the potential to cause serious harm to either or both parties.
Consequences of poor handling practice can include back pain and musculoskeletal disorders, avoidable accidents, and patient injury. Inevitably, injuries to care staff result in lost hours and possible compromises in care provision. It can also result in additional costs, whether through staff recruitment or legal claims for compensation. Injuries to patients culminate in extended stays and increased care and rehabilitation costs.
Moving and Handling for care staff
It goes without saying that every person’s needs are different. Therefore, each case should undergo an independent risk-assessment before any handling or transfer takes place. Even two patients with the same condition on paper may require entirely different approaches. It is important that patients are treated in a safe, respectful and dignified manner. This is regardless of whether the task in hand is deemed to be more complex or basic in its necessity.
Patients and residents in care facilities should have an individually assessed and up-to-date care plan in place. This is so that all care staff are aware of their specific needs and level of dependence in terms of ability and equipment requirements. When things go wrong, there is usually a cause attributed to it rather than “The patient just fell out of the sling” or “The hoist just tipped over”, for example. Some of the more common causes of moving and handling related accidents include:
- Inadequate ‘arrangements’ for individuals to be hoisted safely
- Lack of manual handling policy that sets out procedures for moving residents safely
- Inadequate risk assessments or handling plans – a lack of detail regarding equipment to be used and size
- No suitable or qualified training in moving and handling practice
What is Moving and Handling training?
Moving and handling training is essential for carers who are assisting in moving and transferring patients with limited mobility. Often with the help of specialist equipment. This equipment may include lifts or hoists, stand assist devices, slide sheets and slings, through to profiling beds and riser-recliner chairs. Moreover, training is designed to ensure the safety of both the patient and carer. Staff not following the correct protocols, can lead to long-term or permanent injury for patients and/or carer-givers. Therefore, it is critical that training guidelines are followed to minimise potential risks to staff and patients.
Moving and handling training is also required for the purposes of insurance. Also, to meet industry compliance standards and regulations. Evidence of a care-givers competence in carrying out and assisting with patient handling tasks is essential for creating and maintaining a safer environment.
What are the key learnings?
Key learnings of moving and handling include both theory and practice of people handling. It should also include the steps that should be taken when planning to move a person during the course of their care. As a carer, this embodies an awareness of their own health and safety. This is to minimise the risks for back injury, or any other susceptible parts of the body.
Participants of moving and handling training must also develop an understanding of the relevant legislation. And of course how to apply it within the workplace. This includes any expectations of responsibility on the part of the carer or the employer.
More importantly, carers will learn the practicalities of moving and handling. Manual handling can be strenuous and sometimes dangerous. That’s why understanding the best equipment for each situation is essential. Through learning a variety of handling techniques, the kinetic approach, single-handed care, good posture when lowering, pushing and pulling, the overall effectiveness and safety can be increased.
In addition to good technique, it’s equally important to learn about the different types of equipment available and their intended uses. Equipment such as hoists, stand-aids and slings are all designed to make moving and handling patients much easier and safer.
What are the benefits of moving and handling training?
For the patient especially, a trained and knowledgeable caregiver can make a big difference to their quality of life. It can also impact how comfortable they feel. It’s important that carers have the information they need to make informed decisions about each patient. This will help them remain as independent as possible and also enable them to move them in the most efficient and safe manner.
Moving and handling training enables the caregiver to assess what the patient can and can’t do on their own. This will ensure the right support is provided. Having the foresight to make these decisions is hugely important. It builds trust and confidence between the patient and the caregiver.
Furthermore, training involves learning about how to determine a patient’s long-term and day-to-day abilities. Additionally, any potential risks that may occur as a result of a particular activity. In some cases, a patient may have relatively good ability early in the day. However, they might be more reliant on assistance as they tire later in the day. Being in a position to identify hazards and risks is a crucial part of effective care. It’s important to be able to show that every decision has been backed by qualified risk assessment.
A caregiver who feels adequately prepared and has an elevated understanding of the principles and practice in what they are doing, will undoubtedly deliver a better level of care. As a result, gaining a sense of satisfaction that they are positively impacting a person’s life.
Why choose Joerns?
Joerns is a leading provider of healthcare equipment and education. We commit ourselves to improving patient and care-giver experiences.
We offer comprehensive and independently moderated moving and handling training. As a result, equipping staff with the knowledge they need to enhance the well-being of others. Therefore offering outstanding care and quality of life.
To find out more, please visit our website, or call +44 (0)1905 842 211. We’ll show you how our solutions can help your staff and patients benefit from the latest in industry equipment and knowledge. Joerns prides itself on delivering the best solutions in care and quality of life to those who rely on day-to-day assistance.