Ergonomics: Nursing Homes Lifting Policy & Procedures

Gait Belt

The gait belt is a necessary tool when guiding residents a short distance. It is a safety device designed to assist the health care worker when transferring residents from bed to seat, or seat to wheel chair. It is called a gait belt because of its design. The gait belt is fastened around the waist, just like a belt. The back of the belt covers the better part of the spine, offering the patient good, solid back support. In addition to the support strap, there are two handles on the back of the belt for the health care worker to grip. This will prevent the patient from falling forward, or, down and helps the health care worker to assist in guiding the patient during his gait, or, walk.

Slip Sheets

Slip sheets are another simple device designed for the transfer of patients from bed to gurney, or, any table-to-table transport. Patients going from a bed to a gurney to an MRI would benefit greatly from slip sheets. These sheets are used on patient beds and have a series of straps on the sheets ends. The straps can be used to slide a patient comfortably on the sheet to another position, rather than lifting and risking injury to the attendee or the patient.


There are also lift machines designed to safely move patients. These machines only require thorough working knowledge on the part of the health care provider. Regardless of the devices used, the safety of the patient is of the utmost importance and the realization that a health care worker is part of a team is equally important. Identifying problems and seeking solutions of the sort that prevent injuries is every health workers priority. Knowing your limits is not a fault nor is the utilization of help. After all, the safe transfer and comfort of a patient is the success of you. At any given time, patients in nursing homes require lifting and repositioning for the comfort and needs of the patient. In an effort to protect patients and health care workers, policies and procedures are available. Lifting can strain the back and cause serious injury. Losing grip on a patient can cause bodily harm resulting in civil suit, suspension of license and job loss. Fortunately, there are a lot of tools designed for the comfort and safety of workers and patients. Knowing what they are and how to use them are invaluable.