I have heard of several bigger hospitals using these lift teams. Question for all of you...do you have one at your facility? How does it work? What needs to be done in order to implement one? How are they called (using a code system/pagers/phones)? Are your members on a PRN basis part of nursing staff/PT/Maintenance/Security, or do you have a full-time, in-house, lift team?
Wondering because we have had many work related injuries from lifting pts (I am not one of them, but still concerned for my employees), but all the upper management can tell us is we need to continue using hoyers, draw sheets, smooth movers, etc. We do use the equipment, but when we need help for a lift, we usually page our PT department (not helpful since they are mainly small girls, some pregnant). Not saying our girls can't lift, but when a 500+ lb pt comes to the unit and needs to be turned q2h, then it isn't practical (BTW - we are the only unit in our 48 bed hospital with bariatric capabilities).
What do you all suggest?
Sep 9, '07
I've worked on the ortho/spine units of 2 large hospitals where immobile heavy pts needed q 2 hr turns. In my experience and understanding a "lift team" just means the charge RN says "lift team to room #" and any available RN or staff were to go to that room and assist with the lift.
The problem we always had is often only 1 other RN or staff member was available to assist so you'd have search the halls and rooms for a third person. It was rare that we had adequate staff free to do a 4 person lift. I usually tried to be nice and be available to help my co-workers lift heavy pts but I often went home with an aching back.
Sep 9, '07
there are no paid lifters at my facility. only cnas rns (family members are out of the question 'cause of liability). the main thing i have learned is to avoid lifting too much by oneself. get a team of fellow coworkers to lift someone 500+ in bed. also there are helpful websites out there on the net that explain proper ways of transporting and lifting clients that can save your back!
Sep 9, '07
We do have a lift team in our hospital. They are designated people from the SDS dept., so they are good for things like turns, but they don't know how to do things like help to change the sheets with the patient in the bed, for example, so some things are easier to just recruit a few nurses from our unit to do. They are in house from 9-5 or so, 7 days a week. We really do appreciate them when we have a very heavy patient, but it would be nice if they had a little training in how to properly position a patient, and things like that. If we don't ask them specifically, they'll leave your patient slumped over or caddy-corner in the bed. I guess they just don't realize that they won't be comfortable like that.
Sep 9, '07
Yes we do have a lift team and they are awesome. We just page them, put in the pt's room number and anywhere from 4-6 staff respond. Personally, I have another RN and the Aid on my unit and we are able to turn the bariatric pts quickly and safely for all involved, including the patient. We also have overhead lifts that we can use for turning side to side and wash backs etc, but when linen needs to be changed or new slings need to be placed, (they tend to ride up in bed) the lift team is used. I know they get an hourly differential for being on the lift team, but am not certain how much it is. It was very easily implemented in my hospital and is the best thing ever for saving aching backs!!
Sep 10, '07
It amazes me that more isn't done. In the UK all hospitals have a no lift policy and all equipment is provided from slide sheets to hoists. Signs are displayed informing patients/family and friends about it and encouragement is given a lot for self help. Have been known to do resus on the floor as patient collapsed on the floor and when able the patient is transferred onto the bed using the hoist and was successful.
Jun 23, '08
I wish we had a lift team. My facility just adopted this Get-a-lift program which happens to be a total joke! We are always out of the slings, and more often than not, the batteries are dead! They made all the employees who are involved in pt care, sign a waiver, we are no longer allowed to lift anything greater than 30lbs. We must use the crappy equipment, and if we don't and happen to get hurt while lifting, we will not be covered and will be up for disciplinary action. *** We have to gather a group of 5-6 people lift/roll/scoot up to 500lbs just to get these pt's even on to the darn slings in order to use the lift! We might as well have a lift team. Not a well thought out plan. Ugh!
Jul 3, '08
We hired a company called Romedic to install lifts on the ceiling. They provided us with a thing called a topsheet for turning. It has been nothing short of fantastic for us. We did not go with the lift team concept. However, we questioned the rep about lift teams and he said that he had a many customers that had them and they worked well if they did it right. The cost of the full time employees and equipment was taken out of the reduced workers comp cost. He had given us a list of hospitals that started lift teams succesfully and I have misplaced it by now. I'm sure if you contact them they could provide you with that list. I don't have the companies information handy but I'm sure you could find it on the web.
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