The job role of a healthcare worker may include supporting patients or individuals to move from one position to another. An individual may be unable to move or require support for various reasons. Some common reasons include: physical disabilities, old age leading to feeble limbs, accidents resulting in immobility. Depending on the care group you work with, you may need to move individuals more often or less frequently. Either way it is important you attend a moving and handling training to acquire the skills to move people safely.
Your employer will ensure you are trained before you are allowed to move individuals either from their bed to a chair, their bed to a wheelchair or maybe just supporting individuals to change their position in bed to enable them to sit, change their clothing or give assistance with toileting or walk alongside the patient to another location. Correct techniques and the use of equipments have been introduced over the years and these are regularly updated.
The Units HSC223 at Level 2 and Unit HSC360 at Level 3 within the NVQ in health and social care focus mainly on your competence in moving and positioning individuals safely. These units would be appropriate for you if your job role involves moving and handling individuals.
Spinal Awareness and Back Injury.
If you are new to care work it is important that you are aware of the consequences of not using correct and safe moving and handling equipments and techniques.
See below some data and statistics that have been gathered in the past:
- The largest cause of accidents at work is 37% Manual Handling (HSE 2005). Interpreted another way – the overall figure of 37% means that: 86000 people are absent daily 26,500,000 working days are lost annually £1,000,000,000 (£1bn) is lost in production, sickness benefit and medical costs. In terms of suffering each injury results in an averageof 20 days off work – some never fully recover. Fourout of five people suffer with back related problems atsome time – the risk is greater after the age of 30.
- It’s been observed that Neutral Spinal position during all Moving and Handling can reduce risk of injury by up to 40%! The lumbar spine accounts for about 80% of all injuries
- The 3 commonest sites of injury to employees are: Disc injuries – Bulge and hernia (slipped) Muscular and ligament – Postural Supporters v Load Bearers (Facet) Joint Injury – Classic “wear and tear” injury
- Since 1996, 449 reports of faulty equipment to Medical Devices Agency: 4 led to a fatality!
Facts About Back Injury
Did you know that…?
- Back Injuries are the second leading cause of missed workdays.
- Many of the injuries involve sprains and strains caused by poor posture often repeated over a long period of time. Indeed a large proportion of manual handling injuries are the result of the cumulative “wear and tear” of poor postures.
- Your back is at work 24 hours a day. It has to hold up your entire body and support most of your weight.
- Your back is an incredible piece of engineering, but like any piece of equipment it needs to be properly cared for if it is to perform without problems.
- Many back problems stem from a lack of exercise and poor posture, both inside and outside the workplace.
- Unaccustomed exercise or activity can cause back pain. E.g. hours spent gardening, decorating or taking up a sport when you are unfit.
- Fortunately you can prevent many back injuries by learning the best way to: SIT, STAND and LIFT.
There are principles to follow to ensure you protect yourself, colleagues and your clients from back injuries or any other kinds of injuries attached to poor moving and handling procedures. Consider the list below-
Principles of Safe Patient Handling
- ALWAYS check the care plan and safety guidelines
- NEVER manually lift a client/ Patient unless you have to
- ASSESS the client / patient and check for any changes in their condition
- PLAN the task adequately before you start moving them
- EXPLAIN what you are going to do and obtain their cooperation and consent
- ALWAYS use the appropriate handling equipment when necessary
- Know and accept your own handling ABILITY, and that of your colleagues
- PREPARE the handling area and watch out for hazards
- Give CLEAR INSTRUCTIONS to client/patient and other carers
- Use RHYTHM and TIMING “ ready?…..(yes)……..set?……move and move smoothly to avoid jerky movements
- DO NOT “save” falling people (it’s dangerous!) – slide them to the floor
- Your FEET should be apart, in the direction of movement, with your weight balanced between them.
- Take a firm, comfortable HANDHOLD, keeping elbows close to your body
- Always LEAN IN THE DIRECTION you are pulling, pushing or sliding
- Use your BODY WEIGHT to move the patient
- BEND YOUR KNEES not your back, and look forward to help keep your back naturally straight
- AVOID TWISTING your trunk, move your feet instead
Most importantly Always Get Help When You Need It !!!
The Units HSC223 at Level 2 and Unit HSC360 at Level 3 within the NVQ in health and social care focus mainly on your competence in moving and positioning individuals safely.
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