Time away from clinical practice to attend mandatory patient handling training is an increasing challenge for healthcare organisations, and standard classroom training alone is not adequate to positively influence safer and effective working practices.
Staff education and training are essential to promote the right behavioural changes that achieve safer working practices, less physical exertion when handling patients and improvement in the quality of patient care.1
However, off the shelf patient handling training does not meet the specific clinical and educational needs of the caregivers in order to provide safe and effective care. Training should be based on observations of current working practices and should be informed by the views and experience of the workforce. When staff training was tailored to the task, the equipment and environment, musculoskeletal related incidents were reduced by 80%.2
Furthermore, it has also been long recognised that there is a theory-to-practice gap in the delivery of patient handling education programmes within health and social care.3 Classroom training is not reflective of reality and often is not followed up in clinical practice. It is often based upon prescriptive ‘techniques’ and is activity focussed rather than ensuring appropriate safe patient handling and equipment choices are made according to the functional mobility level of the patient.
- Provide customer insight by identifying areas in practice that contribute to postural overload for caregivers
- Establish functional mobility levels of the people in their care and recommend appropriate equipment and transfer solutions
- Promote mobility at the earliest opportunity and reduce immobility related complications
- Increase organisation and caregiver working efficiencies and quality of care
- Improve quality of work and reduction of work related musculoskeletal disorders for caregivers
- Design and deliver evidence based tailored education programmes for identified ‘coaches’ to embed sustainable, cultural change for the organisation
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1.International Standards Organisation/Technical Report 12296:2012 - Ergonomics -- Manual handling of people in the healthcare sector