Patient Transfer and Movement

patient transfer and movement

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  • Transfer Techniques
  • Body Mechanics

Can we please get your advice on this one question?

A radiation therapists’ understanding of patient transfer and movement is relevant to patient care. A review of patient transfer and movement touches on body mechanics as well as transfer techniques.

patient transfer and movement

Body mechanics can be defined as the use of one’s body to maintain balance as well as control while producing motions that are safe and efficient. The objective for any movement is transfer safety.  The radiation therapist (health care worker) as well as patient must never be compromised; which means, if you are in doubt as to the level of assistance require, get more help.

Here are a few body mechanic tips for your consideration. Always communicate what transfer you are about to perform with the patient and make sure the patient understands their role.

  • Bend with your knees so your legs work harder and lessen stress on your back
  • Hold loads close to your body to minimize the effect of a patient’s weight
  • Move your torso from your shoulders to your hips to prevent twisting injury
  • Tighten abdominal muscles to support movements
  • Move predictably which means avoid quick jerky movements

There are three levels of transfer; namely, independent transfer, assisted transfer, as well as dependent transfer. Independent transfer means that the patient performs all aspects of the movement.

Assisted transfer means that the patient actively participates but still needs assistance with the movement.

Dependent transfer means that the patient does not participate with health care workers performing all aspects of the transfer.

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