How does your facility transport patients into the morgue cooler?

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    This week myself and another nurse had to transfer a patient to the morgue cooler. My concern is this patient was bigger than both nurses, in height and weight. It was really difficult to transfer safetly from the gurney to cooler. Since then my back has been hurting. Yes, this has been reported to proper administration. My Questions are: How does your facility deal with this , do you have a lift to assist? Is it nursing's responsibilty to transfer?

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  2. 15 Comments...

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    Where I work we have gurneys especially for the morgue.We transfer the body from the bed onto the gurney and then that gurney goes directly into the cooler. Sometimes getting the body over to the gurney is tough.I remember one man that took four of us to slide over.
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    We have a gurney especially for the morgue , but then we have to slide the body from the gurney onto the table that slides into the cooler. So from bed to gurney to table is the process.
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    at our facility the nurses do it, and the morgue is so badly designed, you can not get the gurney next to the slide out tray, so you have to pull on an angle. and you can't get anyone on one side of the gurney. So it is a body mechanic nightmare. And you can only get 2 people in the room once the gurney is in it.
  6. 1
    Quote from KD820126
    This week myself and another nurse had to transfer a patient to the morgue cooler. My concern is this patient was bigger than both nurses, in height and weight. It was really difficult to transfer safetly from the gurney to cooler. Since then my back has been hurting. Yes, this has been reported to proper administration. My Questions are: How does your facility deal with this , do you have a lift to assist? Is it nursing's responsibilty to transfer?
    I haven't transported a patient in some time... the last place I worked, it was always the nursing assistant's. My job prior to that last one we transported with whomever was available to help. Even the heavy ones. No pun intended, but "dead weight" is called that for a reason. Super heavy. I have tipped those old metal morgue gurneys - had patients slide off.... especially when the cooler that you're trying to get them into is at about shoulder height. Extremely hard. I would advise getting the heaviest part of the person onto the gurney first through a slider method with the body bag - be forewarned, though, they rip. You can bring a sheet and use that as a slider.

    Go slow and move purposefully to avoid muscle strain. I haven't seen a zero lift machine in the morgue, but that is a great idea.
    CoffeemateCNA likes this.
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    We have a covered morgue cart that the dead are transported in. But, we have a patient transport system, two people show up, identify the pt and take them down. If more help is needed, they pull from their staff.

    I'm assuming you don't have patient transport... so before we had this... and I've been in your situation, we've called the house supervisor to watch our patients and brought a third nurse... if more were needed, and yes you sometimes need 4 people, the house supervisor temporarily allocated strong staff from other areas and only the primary nurse went down.

    if our acuity was high, she would allocate the staff from other areas and leave us on the floor to catch up on our nursing duties. It only takes 20 minutes tops, so it was often easier to pull aides from one floor each to assist.
  8. 1
    At our facility, bodies only go to the morgue for extenuating circumstances. They stay in the rooms for the funeral homes to come get them. I guess they would go to the morgue if the bed was desparately needed or if they had to go for an autopsy? I haven't seen this happen though. I work oncology. Most of the time the death is very much expected.
    gtoko likes this.
  9. 0
    At my last facility security was actually called to transport to the morgue.
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    It really doesn't matter what any facility does. No one anywhere should be risking their back, no facility should be risking employees out for weeks on workers compensation. I read another post that a hospital instituted a NO LIFT policy. There is no 100% guaranteed safe effective way to lift and move patients dead or alive. I like the idea of leaving the patient in their bed unless you urgently need that bed! Maybe the idea of going to the morgue needs to stop. Why couldn't they stay on a gurney or in their bed until morning when a mortuary comes?
  11. 0
    Family agreed to tissue donation. If organs are being taken then the OR comes and takes them but if it is tissue donation , we have to take the patient to the Morgue and then that process begins. After that then the Funeral home comes and takes the patient. Currently I am organ donor but if for some reason I am only eligible for tissue donation it is not going to happen. We pulled and pushed , and it was a horrible experience. I believe that the soul was gone but what if skin tears occurred? I'm really distressed.


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