Is anyone else annoyed by the expectations of male nurses in transferring patients? - page 3

At my new job on a med-surg floor, we have only two pieces of lifting equipment: a sit-to-stand machine and a hoyer lift. When you want to use them, they never seem to be around. They are shared... Read More

  1. by   Silverdragon102
    One thing I liked about the UK was the no lifting policy. Signs where posted everywhere telling everyone this and hoists, slide sheets, etc was used. I also would not use male nurses or care assistance on big patients just because they was there. Here in the facility I work at if the client can not assist to 75% then they are graded as a hoist and it must be used, even if the client doesn't like it. Too many injuries has been reported with backs that the province is taking action
  2. by   tokmom
    Thankfully, we have ceiling lifts in every room that support 600 lbs. Thank goodness too. We only have one male on the unit. A CNA that isn't all that big to begin with.
    Even if I did have muscles to help me, I wouldn't ask someone all the time.
  3. by   Jenni811
    You have the right to refuse if you feel it is harmful to yourself. I will NOT move a patient that i feel needs a lift. Im 5'2, 110 lbs and cannot do it and will not hurt my back over it.
    Our hospital has a new set up that has every single room equipped with ceiling lifts. The are super nice, we can bring patients all over the room, including the bathroom and shower. The lift sheets are easy to get under them, have a hole in the butt area so we don't have to take it off if they are just getting up to use commode or toilet. We can use them as "walking pants" so someone that is needing to start walking, PT uses it mostly, straps what looks like those baby swings. Strap those on the patient and they can walk all over the room without falling. We can set it to different heights depending how much weight bearing they are. we have sheets on the bed that are specifically designed to attach to these ceiling lifts so we can boost a patient in bed without 7+ people assisting.
    It just requires 2 people to be present whenever the patient is using it, one on each side. One can lift up to 450 lbs, some of our rooms are labeled bariatric rooms, and the lifts in these rooms do the exact same thing but can lift up to 900 lbs.
    They are GREAT!!! i couldn't do my job without them. I depend on these things everyday. I realize some hospitals don't have the luxury of this, and i've done clinical rotations in a hospital that did not have them.
    It was really hard, there was a lot more demand on the male nurses. I remember they had a special code word that came over the intercom and whenever this code word came over, it meant ALL avaliable male staff please come to _____. It meant there was a combative patient, they got out all the female staff and put in the male staff.

    But yes, i agree i believe there is more of a higher demand on male nurses as far as dealing with combative patients, or difficult patients.
  4. by   xtxrn
    Quote from KatieP86
    This is crazy. We have socialised health care and all the lifting equipment you can shake a stick at. Hoists, sliding sheets, turntables. A specialist back care team and a couple of people who will come to the ward to help you if you are stuck- they can order in equipment and help you figure out the best way to move a patient.

    I guess I am just dumbstruck that there are hospitals in the US that don't have equipment to move patients safely. After all, you are risking the patient AND the staff when you do unsafe lifting.

    (I am not criticising US hospitals- just a little shocked that they still expect staff to physically lift people!)
    We have it- but as someone mentioned, they don't use it consistently (and some smaller, older facilities don't budget for these items, not realizing how much they'll save in paying for back surgeries).

    Some hospitals here are "lift-free" and have enough people who will use it (mostly because if they don't , they're on their own w/any injuries....not following policy)....
  5. by   carolmaccas66
    In our large, older teaching hospitals, there isn't room for the lifters.
    When I was a student & doing my clinicals at a large teaching hospital, not all the floors had a lifter anyway (and running around my old hospital was not practical, as it's a HUGE place). Anyway being a student, I wouldn't have argued against lifting, however I did always say I will not hurt my back for anyone. It's your back and it's up to you to protect it, no-one will care if you hurt it anyway. I value my back more than anything.
    I always bent my knees, used my thighs to put weight on and never lifted anyone alone. All the nuring homes used lifters, some dementias get so fat you cannot lift them at all (I wouldn't even try). Some homes employed guys to lift people.
    Can u talk to ur NUM about this? Sorry, I wouldn't be hurting my back for anyone.
  6. by   Noimanurse
    My best advice is do not come in the room empty handed. "Simply" walk into the room after you've found the hoyer, push it in, and let the staff know this patient with be a hoyer lift since we have plenty of help getting this person harnessed in, it won't be any trouble at all...throw around the words "patient safety", "my back", and "workman's comp" while strolling in with the hoyer and they will eventually get the drift!
  7. by   anotherone
    Quote from WillRegNurse
    What I resent is that the next time this happens, and I refuse to transfer a heavy patient that should really be transferred via equipment, that I will be seen as unskilled, lazy, or a weakling for not wanting to have a work related injury during my first year out of nursing school. I especially despise comments from nurses who say "it is nice to sometimes have a male nurse help move the patients" as if being a man and having more upper body strength does jack for saving your back when you got some huge person falling down onto you!

    What does everyone else make of this?
    Yeah , it is not just because you are a man. I am a woman and people(both staff and patients) expect this of all the staff where I work which is 95% female. I don't know why 400lb people think we should be able to just magically transfer them around.................. A lightweight pt on my floor is usually twice my weight anyway! Patients who want you to turn and repo them with the head of the bed up, patients who refust to FOLLOW DIRECTIONS, pts who insist on holding onto you and not the rails, co wokers who don't count to three and just start randomly. ahhhhhhhhhhhh
  8. by   anotherone
    Quote from KatieP86
    This is crazy. We have socialised health care and all the lifting equipment you can shake a stick at. Hoists, sliding sheets, turntables. A specialist back care team and a couple of people who will come to the ward to help you if you are stuck- they can order in equipment and help you figure out the best way to move a patient.

    I guess I am just dumbstruck that there are hospitals in the US that don't have equipment to move patients safely. After all, you are risking the patient AND the staff when you do unsafe lifting.

    (I am not criticising US hospitals- just a little shocked that they still expect staff to physically lift people!)
    Ha most hospitals DO NOT HAVE THAT EQUIPMENT. just my observation. i have never actually verified this. if they do have it , good luck finding the one lift and a couple of boards..............................
    Last edit by anotherone on Aug 14, '11
  9. by   Emergency RN
    Too bad Star Trek isn't real. Having Scotty "beam him up" prn, would be great, wouldn't it? LOL...
  10. by   xtxrn
    Quote from Jenni811
    You have the right to refuse if you feel it is harmful to yourself. I will NOT move a patient that i feel needs a lift. Im 5'2, 110 lbs and cannot do it and will not hurt my back over it.

    But yes, i agree i believe there is more of a higher demand on male nurses as far as dealing with combative patients, or difficult patients.
    You do have a right to refuse...and your employer then has the right to refuse to continue paying you But you're correct in getting the lift if you feel there's a safety issue for you or the patient (which becomes hard to differentiate with some patients).

    I never cared if it was a female, male, or Smokey the Bear who showed up, as long as it got done. Some of you would not believe what was expected even 25 years ago...there might be one Hoyer for the facility (acute care), and 2 bed scales, that people would sell their children to get a hold of Otherwise, we had all sorts of horrendous tricks to get people moved in the bed- getting them out of bed wasn't typically something I had to deal with on nights- but weights, and Q2H turning were ALL an exercise in hoping the gomers and geezers would be quiet during all maneuvering. I did get hurt- but on an acute neuro floor- 28 patients and 2 RNs on nights- who may not see each other until 3 am because of assessments, meds, and rounds on 14 people each- you did what you had to do.

    Use the lifts Hunt them down- it's not going to take nearly as long as scheduling an MRI of your back
  11. by   xtxrn
    Quote from anotherone
    Ha most hospitals DO NOT HAVE THAT EQUIPMENT. just my observation. i have never actually verified this. if they do have it , good luck finding the one lift and a couple of boards..............................
    I think this is changing considerably- at LTCs and hospitals...at least in the areas I've worked/seen. Obviously it needs to be better, but people also need to use the stuff
  12. by   Jenni811
    yea you do have the right to refuse to assist in moving a difficult patient without the use of a lift. your employer might not be to happy with you but the way i see it is you only have 1 back and there are many different employers out there. I will not risk hurting my back over my job. If my employer wants to get rid of me because i'm putting my own safety first, then i don't want to work for them anyway.
  13. by   xtxrn
    Quote from Jenni811
    yea you do have the right to refuse to assist in moving a difficult patient without the use of a lift. your employer might not be to happy with you but the way i see it is you only have 1 back and there are many different employers out there. I will not risk hurting my back over my job. If my employer wants to get rid of me because i'm putting my own safety first, then i don't want to work for them anyway.
    Very true. Stick to your guns on that one !! There are "lift-free" facilities, that have lifts that go all the way to the ground that are great (along with the sit-to-stand, and normal bed-to-chair lifts). With injuries being so expensive (not even considering the toll it takes on the employee- since they really don't care), there isn't really a good reason to not have the equipment now that it's so available.

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