Manual Handling of Patients

In the healthcare assistance industry, professionals may have to come across varying kinds of patients. Some are physically disabled and others are mentally (disabled). Both situations can cause limitations in the extent of the patient’s mobility. On the other hand, there are situations where the patients are not exactly disabled but may need help moving around to reduce stress. This article covers the basics in relation to the manual handling of patients.

Moving and handling the patient is not always with supports like wheelchairs, walkers or sticks. In many cases, the healthcare assistant has to handle the patient manually. This may involve lifting, moving, turning, and more. It is not an easy task. While many may think that is a mere inconvenience but professional and passionate healthcare assistants hardly think about it. They know it is their job and they are kind enough to support a fellow human.


Risks Associated with Manual Handling

Manual handling is not just difficult but can be risky. There are a number of patient situations where it can’t be avoided but can cause harm to the patient and handler if not performed with all the safety rules. This is why there are special training courses and even healthcare laws to protect the interests of those involved.

What can Poor Moving and Handling Do?

If the right process of manual handling is not followed and safety measures are not considered, the following risks can increase:

  • Musculoskeletal disorders in the handlers along with back pain. It can become serious enough that the handler will be unable to work
  • Improper handling can lead to accidents; causing injury to the handler, patient or both
  • Improper handling can cause humiliation for the patient

What Needs to Be Done?

If healthcare assistants are equipped with the right knowledge, they can ensure that manual handling situations can be safe for themselves and the patients. Here is what healthcare assistants need to learn and get trained in:

  • Learning the statuary regulations for moving and handling
  • Learning practical skills for manual handling
  • Should be aware of their legal rights and responsibilities
  • Should be able to assess the patient situation to identify what risks need to be avoided
  • Learn about the different manual handling techniques
  • Be trained to ensure that patient’s dignity is not compromised
  • Have knowledge of the anatomy of the spine and muscular system

Manual Handling and Patient Wishes

While the safety of both the handler and the patient is necessary during manual handling, it should be taken into consideration that the patient’s personal wishes for mobility must be respected. There can be occurrences when the patient is not comfortable with a specific technique or does not want to be moved. These wishes should be respected if possible because often mobility is unavoidable.  On the other hand, the patient’s independence and autonomy must be supported too. If you believe that a patient can make a certain move on their own, it should be encouraged.
At TutorCare we provide training online, in-house, at your workplace or at a centre of your choice.  For more information please follow this link – Moving and handling of people


One Reply to “Manual Handling of Patients”

  1. Hi I am interested in doing a manual handling course, please let me know available dates and cost, would ideally like to do it in May.
    Many thanks

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