Safe Patient Handling - Preventing Patient Falls and Nursing Injuries

Nursing is a high-risk occupation with respect to patient (*) lifting and handling-related injuries. It is the profession most associated with work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) and injuries. Nearly 12 out of 100 nurses (+) in hospitals and 18 out of 100 nurses working in nursing homes report work-related MSD injuries. Concurrently, frail older patients are at significant risk of suffering injurious falls during staff transfers from bed to wheelchair, toilet, chair, walker, or standing and back to bed. Despite awareness that manual patient handling is a high-hazard task and the promotion of training programs aimed at teaching nurses proper body mechanics, the incidence of MSD injuries persists at high rates, as does the incidence of ‘dropped’ patients during staff lifts/transfers. The purpose of this course is to increase awareness of nursing and patient factors contributing to unsafe handling tasks and the use of mechanical equipment to support safe handling tasks. As well, guidance on achieving an effective safe patient handling (SPH) program is discussed.

(*) The term ‘patient’ refers to both individuals in acute care and long-term care facilities.
(+) All references made to ‘nursing, nurses or nurse’ also includes certified nursing assistants.

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Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to:

  1. Nursing and patient factors contributing to unsafe handling tasks.
  2. Extent and type of injuries related to patient handling activities.
  3. Myths associated with safe patient handling (SPH).
  4. Clinical steps in determining SPH needs.
  5. Patient fall/and mobility risk factors and assessment/intervention associated with SPH activities.
  6. Organization components of a SPH program. 
  7. Key components of a successful SPH program.
  8. Key components of a successful SPH program.
  9. Care of bariatric patients related to SPH activities.
  10. Benefits of SPH programs.


Chapter 1: Introduction

Chapter 2: SPH - Assessing Handling Risks

Chapter 3: SPH - Assessing Mobility and Fall Risk

Chapter 4: SPH - Care Planning

Chapter 5: SPH and Bariatric Care

Chapter 6: Organizing a SPH Program

Chapter 7: Key Components of a Successful SPH Program

Chapter 8: Case Study

Chapter 9: Conclusion

  • References
  • Appendix: SPH Beliefs vs. Facts

Price: $20.00

Contact Hours: 2

Course Author

Rein Tideiksaar

Rein Tideiksaar, PhD, PA-C, or Dr. Rein as he is commonly referred to, is the president of Fall Prevent, LLC, Blackwood, New Jersey, a consulting company that provides educational, legal, and marketing services related to fall prevention in the elderly.

Dr. Tideiksaar is a gerontologist, which is a health care professional who specializes in working with elderly patients, and a geriatric physician's assistant. He has been active in the area of fall prevention for over thirty years. 

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