- The weight of any resident exceeds the lifting capacity of the average caregiver.
- Health care professionals have one of the highest rates of musculoskeletal disorders of any industry.
AliMed's Patient Handling Equipment Protects Long-Term Care Staff and Residents
In long-term care, proper patient positioning is something that caregivers need to be mindful of for the sake of preventing pressure sores, accidental falls and other complications. This task can be particularly challenging in nursing homes if residents are physically frail or not mentally lucid. Improper patient handling can lead to injuries for both the resident and the nursing home staff.
Why is patient handling so challenging
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, proper body mechanics are insufficient in protecting people during patient handling. This can be attributed to the increasing obesity epidemic, combativeness among certain residents or shorter hospitalizations, creating a trend of more frail residents. Additionally, nursing home rooms may be crowded with medical equipment that makes use of the space cumbersome.
Experts from the CDC assert that, even under the safest conditions, the weight of any resident exceeds the lifting capacity of the average caregiver, 90 percent of whom are women.
Ultimately, nurses, nursing aides, orderlies and other health care professionals have one of the highest rates of musculoskeletal disorders of any industry, with 249 cases for every 10,000 workers in 2010, as estimated by the U.S. Department of Labor. These injuries tend to affect the back, shoulders and upper extremities. On the resident side, poor handling can lead to an accidental fall, which comes with its own set of complications. Among them are fractures, functional declines, disability, decreased quality of life, and, in some cases, premature death.
Patient handling equipment offers suitable solutions
Nursing homes that want to provide a safe working environment where the staff can protect themselves from injury as they care for residents may consider acquiring new patient handling equipment, including mechanical lifting equipment. According to the CDC, such medical solutions have benefits for both staff and residents. When it comes to the former, professionals have a lower risk of injury, greater job satisfaction, better morale and the potential for a longer career. For the latter, there is also a lower risk of injury - including falls, friction burns, joint dislocations, bruises and skin tears - but also a greater sense of comfort.
Fortunately, AliMed provides a wide array of medical products that promote better patient handling in nursing homes and long-term care facilities. These include disposable slings, patient shifters, boosters and more. The use of any of these products can help keep residents comfortable, and their families happy while maintaining optimal staffing levels.