Safe Patient Handling - Proper Body Mechanics, Positioning, Lifts and Transfers

This course will provide participants with a review of the basic safety considerations and guidelines necessary to protect themselves and their patients from injury during activities of daily living (ADLs) related to positioning, lifting and transferring. This comprehensive review can be utilized for healthcare personnel throughout all healthcare settings, as the safety considerations for safe handling do not change according to level of acuity. Within this Safe Patient Handling course, the participant will review the basics of how to transfer a patient safely. This includes body mechanics, preparing for safe positioning, lifting and transferring, identifying and appropriately using assistive devices, improving communication to promote safety, step-by-step instructions for a variety of safe transferring scenarios, safe operation of mechanical lift equipment, and how to complete incident reporting in a timely and thorough manner.

Questions? Check out our FAQs page and How Online IV Certification Works!


Upon completion of this course, the participant will be able to:

  1. Define proper body mechanics used for positioning, lifting and transferring.
  2. Explain several ways that workplace injury can be avoided.
  3. Identify potential complications and consequences of back injury.
  4. Summarize the importance of timely and thorough incident reporting.
  5. Describe ways to identify the patient’s needs related to positioning, lifting and transferring.
  6. Discuss how to safely use assistive devices for positioning, lifting and transferring.
  7. Explain how improving communication can promote safety.
  8. Explain how to safely use a mechanical lift for transferring.
  9. Demonstrate how to safely move a patient up in bed.
  10. Demonstrate how to safely assist a patient to sit on the side of the bed – “dangling”.
  11. Demonstrate how to safely transfer a patient from the bed to a stretcher.
  12. Demonstrate how to safely transfer a patient from the bed to wheelchair.
  13. Demonstrate how to safely transfer a patient onto and off of a toilet or bedside commode.
  14. Demonstrate how to safely assist a patient to ambulate using a transfer belt.


Chapter 1: Using Proper Body Mechanics to Prevent Injury

  • Principles of Body Mechanics
  • Protecting your Back 
  • Preventing Patient Injury
  • Incident Reporting 
Chapter 2: Understanding the Patient’s Needs for Safe Positioning, Lifting and Transfers
  • Identifying the Patient’s Needs
  • Assessing the Load 
  • Understanding How to Safely Use Assistive Devices
Chapter 3:  Improving Communication to Promote Safety
  • Following the Patient Care Plan
  • Providing Instructions for Patients - Before, During and After Positioning, Lifts and Transfers
  • Asking for Help if Needed
Chapter 4: Step by Step Guide to Safe Positioning, Lifts and Transfers
  • Moving a Patient up in Bed
  • Positioning a Patient on their Side
  • Assisting a Patient to sit up on the side of the Bed – also known as “dangling”
  • Transferring a Patient from Bed to Stretcher 
  • Transferring a Patient from Bed to Wheelchair 
  • Transferring a Patient onto and off of a Toilet or Bedside Commode
  • Transferring a Patient by using a Mechanical Lift
  • Assisting a Patient to Ambulate using a Transfer Belt
Chapter 5: References

Price: $15.00

Contact Hours: 1.5

Course Author

Damion Keith Jenkins

 Damion Jenkins, RN, MSN is the founder and CEO of a nursing education and consultation company - The Nurse Speak, LLC., where he specializes in the delivery of individualized tutoring, mentoring and consultation services for students, new graduate nurses, and healthcare facilities. Damion is also an adjunct nursing professor, an experienced travel nurse, and an active nurse blogger. 

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Course Accreditation

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