Investing in Safe Handling Pays Off
November 29, 2017 | News
Musculoskeletal injuries are the leading type of injury for both long-term care and home care and support workers. That’s why investing in safe handling training is critical.
Earlier this year, ten staff from Richmond’s Rosewood Manor and Pinegrove Place participated in a two-day Safe Resident Handling training session, and Deborah Goegan, Rosewood’s Administrator, reports that the training has had a positive impact.
“We don’t have a lot of injuries related to safe handling, but there have been some near-misses, and so it’s important for our staff to understand mechanical lifts and how to properly transfer residents,” she says. “And now we have five safe handling experts at our home.”
Following the training, Rosewood, which has about 100 direct care staff and 156 residents, set about revising its safe resident handling policy, developed a reference document for staff at each nursing station, and held staff learning sessions and safety huddles. The newly trained Safe Resident Handlers showed staff how to do safe handling risk assessments, and provided other safety tips, including not using soaker pads for repositioning.
Invest in training up-front
Rosewood recently hired a physiotherapist, who has reviewed and endorsed the home’s Safe Resident Handling policy, which further validates the work the staff have done. In addition, if there were an injury related to safe handing, the trained handlers would work with the injured staff to re-educate, to help prevent future injury.
Goegan adds that investing in this type of training is important for several reasons, including: wanting to provide the best possible care for residents, ensuring the wellness of staff, and for operational reasons. “We have a lot of staff who have been here a long time and I see many older ones who are off work with sore backs,” says Goegan. “My hope is that with new equipment and more training our younger staff will learn that they need to take care of themselves, so they don’t have injuries that cause chronic pain.”
Photo: The five Safe Resident Handlers from Rosewood Manor
This is the second in a four-part series on safe handling. Read our first article featuring Lee Frederick, of Parksville’s Arrowsmith Lodge.
Check out our Safe Handling Toolkit.