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Does staff use transfer belts?


Specializes in Home Care,Psych, Long Term Care.

I have noticed that in several LTC facilities in my area, nurses and aides rarely use transfer belts. They use them if someone is a heavy lift, but not with lighter transfer assists. I was taught that transfer belts should always be used.

Is not using belts a common practice?

This would make me uneasy from a safety standpoint and also a legal one. If someone falls during an assisted transfer and gets hurt, wouldn't the staff involved be considered negligent if they weren't using a belt?

Any input would be appreciated. I am looking for a staff nurse job in LTC and this is really bugging me.




Specializes in ER CCU MICU SICU LTC/SNF.

Only if the facility's policy so dictates.

We used them all the time in the last hospital i worked at.. each patient that PT worked with (the ones who needed them anyway!) got a belt that stayed in the room. Thinking back to the LTC i worked at as an aid during school tho... no belts anywhere

CapeCodMermaid, RN

Specializes in Gerontology, Med surg, Home Health. Has 30 years experience.

If the resident is more than a contact guard assist to stand,transfer.or ambulate, my CNAs are supposed to use a gait belt.

achot chavi

Specializes in acute care and geriatric. Has 20 years experience.

there is such an unfortunate gap between what they are supposed to do and what they actually do, if I don't stand guard, they neglect the seatbelt on the showerchair as well. I have to be such a policeman but whatcanyado- we are so short of good staff that it is hard to severely punish them. I try putting them on only day shifts so I can keep a close watch until I feel they are trustworthy and learned their lesson. Then they go and do it again!!!


Specializes in Geriatrics, WCC.

Any place i have ever worked, transfer belts are a madatory part of the CNA and nurses uniform. If they are not used on every single resident, then it is automatic disciplinary action.

evilolive, BSN, RN

Specializes in Cardiac/Step-Down, MedSurg, LTC. Has 6 years experience.

My ADON brought up two gait belts to the floor this morning and plopped them on the desk. She's trying to make sure all the "little things," so to say, are in place since we are in our window for state survey (which is a whole other story and making me poop myself a little).

I have never used one, and my staff on 11-7 have never used them. Then again, we don't do many transfers at night.

jschut, BSN, RN

Has 20 years experience.

CNA's are supposed to at our facility, but rarely do.

I'am the restorative nurse at my facility and I make it my daily mission to enforce use of gait belt. It is a safety issue for the residents as well as the staff. Anytime an NAC walks with a resident even if only SBA they use gaitbelts , only if the care guide states that resident refuses gait belt is it OK not to use it.


Specializes in LTC. Has 4 years experience.

Any transfer done by anyone at our facility is done with a gait belt per our facility policy. You can be fired if you are caught not transfering with the gait belt.


Specializes in Mental and Behavioral Health. Has 3 years experience.

I want every rsdt. that is ambulate with assist to have gait belt on. I am the supervisor, and have the right to demand that, and I will. The UAPs are working on MY licence. Why would I risk a fall when I might prevent it?


Specializes in Geriatrics.

So, I'm working as a CNA in an assisted living facility over the next few months until I graduate from LPN school. I've only seen one person with a gait belt since I've been there. I actually have my own and would really prefer to use it but I need to address it with my supervisor first. When I was hired I was asked to not wear scrubs because they like to promote an "apartment/home" atmosphere and not a "nursing home" atmosphere. I do a lot of transfers and some folks are large. I am very concerned that either me or a resident will eventually get injured. I really like this job and hope to transition into an LPN position after graduation. I'm just pretty torn about being able to provide good, safe care both now and after graduation. We were taught in school to always use a gait belt too. :no: It's pretty frustrating.

CapeCodMermaid, RN

Specializes in Gerontology, Med surg, Home Health. Has 30 years experience.

There is a big difference between AL and nursing home care, but even in an AL the residents have care plans and some I'm sure would benefit from the use of a gait belt. Good for you for wanting to keep them and yourself safe. As to the other poster who is 'going to DEMAND....' good luck with that. Demands don't usually get you too far without something clinical to back them up.

Just Dave Will Do

Specializes in Geriatrics, Pain, Wounds, End of Life. Has 15 years experience.

cnas follow the lead of their nurses. i wear a gait belt and use it. all nurses should.



Specializes in LTC. Has 5 years experience.

The policy where I work is that any transfer where you have to put your hands on the resident, a belt should be used (unless of course they are using a mechnical lift). However, it doesn't happen that way.

Not_A_Hat_Person, RN

Specializes in Geriatrics, Home Health. Has 10 years experience.

I work at an ALF that requires gait belts for all transfers. All caregiving staff are supposed to wear one at all times. I've never used one (in school, I learned what I call the "bear hug" method), so I don't use it. There is supposed to be a gait belt inservice in a few weeks.

Havin' A Party!, ASN, RN

Specializes in ICU, CM, Geriatrics, Management. Has 10 years experience.

Gait belts required at my facility too.

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