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

3.5 Assistive Devices

Critical Thinking Exercises: Questions, Answers, and Sources / References

Critical thinking questions are in bold type, and the answers are italicized. Additional resources or references are provided below.

  1. A 100 kg patient with limited mobility requires transfer from his bed to stretcher. The nurse chooses to use a HoverMatt for the transfer. Describe how this technology limits musculoskeletal strain, and the steps for its use in this situation.

A HoverMatt is an air transfer mattresses that allows for easy re-positioning and transferring. No lifting or straining is required as the mattress and patient float on a cushion of air. See demonstration video at

  • The patient is positioned on the mattress. The mattress has air holes that must be in contact with the bed or stretcher.
  • Implement all safety considerations. Apply brakes on the bed or stretcher; safety straps around the patient.
  • Attach the mattress to the air pump, and inflate the mattress.
  • When fully inflated, use transfer handles to guide the patient over to the new surface.
  • Raise side rails to ensure patient safety. Turn off air pump and disconnect from the mattress. 


HoverTech International. (2016). HoverMatt air transfer system.

Interior Health (2017). HoverMatt Procedure. A lateral air transfer device.

Sample Quiz Question

  1. What device could possibly be used to assist in the transfer of a patient from the bed to a stretcher? (Select all that apply.)
  • Air assisted mattress (correct)
  • Slider board (correct)
  • Slider sheet (correct)
  • Ceiling lift (correct)


HoverTech International. (2016). HoverMatt air transfer system.

Perry, A. G., Potter, P. A., & Ostendorf, W. R. (2017). Clinical nursing skills and techniques (9th ed.). Elsevier; Mosby.


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