Friday 13 March 2015

Reflections on Hoisting and Wheelchair Sessions

As previously discussed in "Week 25: Too many little time", over the last few weeks we have been taking part in practical sessions at university to give us the basic knowledge to use when on placement. This week's sessions were based on hoisting and wheelchairs, which gave us as students the chance to experience how it would feel to relinquish control and the power balance when we are hoisting/moving an individual.

Being Hoisted...

How does it feel to be hosted? For me I completely tensed up in the sling; it made me think considering I know how the equipment works, this should have relieved some of the fear but it didn't... so for patients who won't have this advantage of knowledge it must be so much more scary.

The power is with the person doing the hoisting and working the equipment. The patient needs to place their trust in an health care professional that they may have just met when they are feel at there most vulnerable, not to mention most probably in those shapeless hospital gowns.

It is of great importance that as health care professionals we are able to reassure the patient and protect their dignity whilst helping them to transfer.

Learning Points:

  • Let the person know what you are doing as you go through the process.
  • If you can stand beside them when hoisting - Do so! 
  • Give the person dignity when hoisting them! 


We also got the chance to experience using a wheelchair around campus, which was a lot harder than I had imaged it to be; heavy doors, high handles and doors that open outwards were among a few of the issues faced just getting around, not including the added obstacle of communicating when you aren't at the same level as others.

Even to push someone in a wheelchair there is so much you need to know to do so safely, such as coming of he curb backwards - you need to be so much more aware of the environment when driving the chair, and it again there is the balance of power that the user gives over to the person pushing them.

Learning Points:

  • Remember the person in the chair does not want to face the wall in the lift... they want to be able to join in the conversation!!
  • Doors are challenging in a wheelchair.

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