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Moving a Patient Tips


i have been helping taking care of a woman with MS over the weekend while her husband and 2 girls have been playing softball out of town. they are the normal care givers for her. my friend has been helping me move her from her wheelchair to another wheelchair. we move her to her bedroom and then place her in her bed.

the problem is we are trying to figure out the best way to do this. the steps she said to follow for her are:

move her from her motorized wheelchair, pick her up in a bear hug. she can not stand on her own at all. have the other person slide the shorts and diaper down to knee level, then place her in the other wheelchair. cover her up and move her to her bedroom. then remove the dirty clothes and replace at ankle level the new clean clothes. bear hug her and hold her up again, the other person cleans her up and slides the clean clothes up all the way, then both help position her into the hospital bed.

then when we are removing her the next morning from her bed, we move her to the edge of the bed, we stand her up and then pull off the dirty clothes from overnight to ankle level and get her into her wheelchair. then we move her back to her motorized wheelchair. remove the dirty clothes and replace with clean clothes. then we hold her up again and the other person cleans her up and pulls up the new clothes, then we both sit her into the motorized wheelchair and prop her legs up.

my friend is strong enough to hold her if i hurry and clean her up. but if i take too long she starts getting shaky and we are both scared that she will let slip and the lady will get hurt or one of us will. the other issue is when we stand her up either time, she tends to dribble urine down the bear hugger's legs.

any help is appreciated!


Specializes in Rehab,Cardiac and PICU. Has 8 years experience.

I would definitely be cleaning and changing this patient while she was in bed. It would be easier and safer for you. You can then, with another person do a safe transfer to bed or wheelchair.

I agree with luv2swim. There's no reason to put your backs or the patient at risk when there is a better solution to the issue. You need your backs to be strong for the rest of your career! It's probably easier on the patient, too. Less of a worrying experience for her.

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