As a caregiver, nursing aide, assistive technology engineer, and Hospice volunteer, I am currently attempting to raise the issue of inadequate assistive technology for nurses in the media in order to increase public and professional awareness.
The 60-year old floor sling-lift is good for moving automotive engine blocks (its original purpose) but is not good for moving or transferring patients. The floor sling lift is:
· Slow (3-6 minute transfer) - much too slow and invasive for toileting older adults
· Painful (bending and compressing patients with uneven support and pressure)
· Anxiety creating (leading to patients acting out, and caregiver or patient injury)
· Inherently unsafe (patient is not supported from below and can fall for any number of reasons)
· Bulky to retrieve and store
· Difficult to use in homes resulting in bed bound patients causing pressure sores, hypostatic pneumonia, UTIs, blood clots, contractures, fluid in the airway, etc.
· Mostly unusable in the home (requires allot of space and two trained caregivers) forcing bed-bound patients into costly LTC facilities ($75K per year)
· Neither user nor patient friendly, and generally disliked by both groups
Advocacy: What can be done?
Nurses, PTs, OTs, ATPs, and nursing, patient, and disease advocacy organizations need to demand better SPH assistive technology
Nurses need a single device that allows a single caregiver to provide
Advocacy: Creating Requirements:
- Fast patient transfer to wheelchairs, commodes, toilets, and showers
- Safe transfer to the above
- Painless (less invasive) transfer to the above
- Cost effective transfer to the above
As an engineer, I am familiar with specifying clear user requirements for new products and devices. What the ANA can do is create a symposium to define the requirements for a new class of patient transfer and mobility devices
that make bed transfer, showering, and toileting fast, safe, simple, cost effective, and painless.
Nurses must demand better devices from medical device makers.
This means the ANA and SPH experts coming together to agree on SPH device requirements.