Chapter 3. Safer Patient Handling, Positioning, Transfers and Ambulation

3.1 Introduction

In healthcare, all patient-handling activities, such as positioning, transfers, and ambulation, are considered high risk for injury to patients and healthcare providers. This chapter reviews the essential guidelines for proper body mechanics and safe transfer techniques to minimize and eliminate injury in healthcare.

Learning Outcomes

  • Describe body mechanics and principles of body mechanics.
  • Define musculoskeletal injury (MSI).
  • Discuss factors that contribute to an MSI, and ways to prevent an MSI.
  • Discuss risk assessment and four areas of attention required when moving patients.
  • Describe how different levels of assistance affect decisions about assisting with mobility and transfers.
  • Describe various techniques for positioning a patient in bed and types of positions.
  • Describe the process of a one person transfer assist from bed to a wheelchair including the use of any assistive device.
  • Describe how to transfer a patient from a stretcher to a bed using an assistive device.
  • Discuss situations where mechanical assistive devices are necessary when moving patients.
  • Discuss falls prevention strategies.


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Clinical Procedures for Safer Patient Care Copyright © 2018 by Thompson Rivers University is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

Share This Book