Appropriate alignment is important should an organization stand any chance of organizing a successful injury prevention program such as Safe Patient Handling.

Given the many complexities involved in clinical practice operations, successfully managed Safe Patient Handling programs are consistent with several key characteristics. The ideal candidate to lead such an undertaking should by health care profession be a central figure to the overall clinical operations involving patient care. This leads to a Registered Nurse being the ideal candidate to fulfill this responsibility.

In considering this suggestion, RNs’ responsibilities in hospital care settings typically include the most direct involvement of the care being delivered to the patient. From the Physician ordering treatments to be administered to their patients to the Radiology Tech confirming an imaging appointment, these things are unlikely to happen without nursing participation.

As it relates to lifting and moving patients with limited mobility, these responsibilities primarily fall on nursing for most manual lifting initially takes place at the bedside. Therefore, when it comes to integrating new lifting processes into patient care, nursing must agree should there be any realistic hopes of changing outdated lifting practices; keeping in mind that most bedside lifting processes and techniques are created by nursing staff. A Registered Nurse serving in the Safe Patient Handling program coordinators role is best positioned to make the case for changing practice through introducing mechanical lifts into the lifting process. It is through the experienced Registered Nurse that an effective mechanical substitute is considered for nurses are typically considered as credible.

The RP Hawkins Group focuses on assisting the facility coordinator to identify the specific causative factors found in the various manual patient-lift processes which leads to caregiver injuries. We work to ensure that coordinators are knowledgeable of appropriate mechanical-lift substitutes to ensure minimal deviation from the convenience caregivers find in traditional patient-lift processes. Whereas we understand that it is difficult for caregivers to conform to new clinical practice processes, our focus consists of equipping the facility coordinator with practical skills needed to convince end-users of safer more efficient practice methodologies. Through applying these skills with our guidance, program coordinators become more likely to achieve desired injury reduction outcomes.

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