Transfer Techniques

  1. For any of you who are CNA's or have seen the CNA video do schools, hospital's or nursing homes really offer such thing like pivot disk, lifting belts and side board to help move a pt? I was also wondering how often you have to help lift a pt alone? How hard is this to do in real life? I am hoping to take a cna class with the American Red Cross in March or April and work as a cna while waiting for an open LPN course next year. Thanks I look forward to hearing your responses.
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  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   casi
    I've never seen a pivot disk, but I work in an assisted living so our residents often don't have the need for them, though they do look like they'd be extremely useful. I only have one resident with a transfer board. I believe that PT probably supplied it. It works like a charm for her.

    Transfer belts are everywhere even in my assisted living facility. Those residents who need a transfer belt for every transfer we keep the belts in their rooms. We also have several belts in our nursing office and at the desks in our different units in case of emergencies or sudden change in condition. What's sad is when we start keeping belts in the rooms of the residents that fall a lot.

    Most transfers you'll probably find yourself doing alone. How hard they are depends on the person and you as an aide. What might be easy for you is hard for someone else. My transfer weakness is tall people. I have no problem with someone who's 5'3 and 200lbs and needs a full assist. Give me someone taller than 5'8 and 87lbs and that can be tough. I pull them up and their knees are still bent and they're slightly off balence... whooops.

    I can't speak for the hospitals but in nursing homes you'll be using a lot of mechanical lifts for the hard to lift heavy transfers. You'll also learn different techniques. The videos you saw were really very basic and don't begin to cover all the ways to move a person from point A to point B.

    I'm probably rambling though... it's way past my bedtime
  4. by   PBAJS
    In my LTC facility we do not have pivot disks or side/slide/transfer boards. We do have a couple of transfer belts, several gait belts, a hoyer lift and a standup lift.

    This facility has a policy that we do not lift or transfer alone. However, lifting or transferring alone does happen. Sometimes other CNAs will be right there to help, sometimes other CNAs will make you wait and wait for help.

    You will get to know the patients that you can do alone and the patients that will need assistance with two or more.

    Think "Safety" If you are unsure or uncomfortable about lifting or transferring a patient alone, get help! Better to be safe than you and/or the patient having an injury.
  5. by   para
    Thanks Casi, you were very helpful. I am relived to know I will have help with mechanical lifts( I need to look this up becuase I am not sure what it looks like) for the hard to lift heavy transfers.Are these lifts really helpful?Why do you think it is harder to lift taller pt's instead of heavier pts?Any tips on what you do for taller pts?Any tips for heavier pts too?

    Thanks PBAJS, You made me feel better about asking for help.I am going to have to look up what gait belts, a hoyer lift and a standup lift are and do. I am new to this and have not heard those names before. I like the idea of having a policy that no CNA can lift alone, but I understand why you might need to sometimes. I am a little worried about lifting pts alone. I don't want to hurt them or myself. Do you think it is ok on the job to say I don't want to lift pts alone? I have heard CNA's are often very busy with their own pt so they may not have time to help you with yours. A LPN I know who works in LTC said that at least at first I might get guff form my other co-workers about needing help and being slow. She said just do my job and I will get better and quicker.So I am a little worried I might not get the help I need and I will be alone for a lot of the transfers.

    Thank you both for your replies.
    Last edit by para on Jan 14, '07
  6. by   SuesquatchRN
    There are Hoyer lifts and Marisa lifts and they both make it possible to move otherwise immovable people.

    Wear a gait belt around your waist and you'll always have it handy.

    You will train on the floor before they turn you loose, so stop worrying so much. You WILL get good at it, and you WILL be a great CNA.
  7. by   para
    Thanks Suesquatch,
    Your definitions for Hoyer lifts, Marisa lifts and gait belt were helpful.I have have a better understanding of what these items do.Thanks also for the support.I needed it.
  8. by   AuntieRN
    I was a CNA for over 23 years. We used to lift alone all the time. I give my CNAs grief if I catch them lifting alone. No job is worth hurting yourself and you end up not ever being able to work again or go for your dreams. Always get help and if they get mad toooooooo bad is what I have to say!!
    Otherwise we have the lifts and the belts also. The slide boards we do not use and my own personal experience with them and my bro who is a quad is they are not very safe. Can't tell ya how many times he took a header off the dang thing....thats another story...
  9. by   para
    Thanks AuntieRN,
    It makes me feel better knowing I do not have to and that I am not expected to lift people alone. I am not sure why I thought I would have to, but I couldn't get it out of my head.It was my main worried about becomings a CNA.Sorry your brother had trouble with the slide boards, but thanks for sharing that with me. I will know to be weary of them now. Thanks for your reply. It made me feel a lot better.
  10. by   Scrubz
    Most patients i could probably transfer on my own since i'm a pretty strong guy (don't mean to brag ). But for the safety of the patient I usually always get help; especially if they are at a risk for falling.

    I'm the only guy CNA who works med-surg at my hospital, and one of a few guy CNA's at my hospital. I think the girls are glad to have us around.

    I remember we were moving a lady, and she was rather large. Anyway, she wasn't really looking forward to having us move her because earlier that day (the shift before me), they had trouble moving her up in bed (she probably weighed about 350-360lbs). Anyway, I remember having me on one side of the bed and two girls on the other and we pretty much shot her up in bed. She was pretty suprised and glad it was so easy for her.. We all laughed about it.
  11. by   para
    Thanks for the reply Scrubz,
    I am really happy to see another person write that they do not lift pts alone. I am short (5 foot 3 inches and can probably only lift 50 pounds).There is an opening at a nearby hospital for CNA'S for Med-Surgery and ICU.I am interested in working on both these floors. I can not apply till after I am trained though.Could you please tell me what it is like being a CNA on the Med-surgery floor?

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