What aids would you suggest for a diagnostic imaging department? The department offers a full range of services including ultrasound, fluroscopy, MRI, CT Nuclear Med and full range of x-rays
Orillia Soldiers' Memorial Hospital
Thank you for helping us bring to light the fact that caregivers in diagnostic imaging departments are frequently at risk of injury as a result of the need to lift and position patients. In fact, with the ever-increasing need to handle patients of size, the chances of being required to lift in excess of the maximum 35 lb. limit recommended by NIOSH are greater than ever before.
As your question implies, there are a number of ways you can use assistive lifting and positioning aids to reduce caregiver injuries and improve patient handling in diagnostic imaging departments. Uses range from holding limbs in place to transferring patients onto tables, and even to positioning patients while they are in diagnostic chambers. While we cannot cover every potential use here, let’s look at a few of the aids available and their applicability.
The choice of which assistive technology(s) to select will depend on several factors such as available funding, patient demographics, and awareness of the problem on the part of caregivers and managers. Note that you may have to build awareness internally as there can be a lack of knowledge regarding the potential hazards that exist in diagnostic imaging departments and the need for patient handling equipment and training. We wish you luck in determining which of the above best fit your particular department’s requirements.
- Slide sheets – these are frequently used for transferring patients between stretcher and diagnostic table, or repositioning while on the table. Depending on the diagnostic tests being conducted, such as an x-ray, you may wish to remove the sheet from beneath the patient in order to avoid creating an unwanted pattern on the film.
- Roller boards – used for transferring patients short distances such as between bed or stretcher and diagnostic table.
- Air-assist mattresses – used for transferring patients between bed or stretcher and diagnostic table. Optional inflatable patient positioning devices can be attached for raising or adjusting the patient’s upper torso while in a chamber.
- Mobile floor lifts – used for lifting patients between wheelchair or stretcher and diagnostic table. See note above to determine whether to leave the sling beneath the patient while undergoing the procedure.
- Ceiling mounted lifts – used for lifting patients between bed or stretcher and diagnostic table. These have the advantage of generally being more readily available for immediate use than floor lifts.
- Limb-lifting straps – used in conjunction with a mobile or ceiling lift to raise and hold a limb in position for a diagnostic procedure such as an x-ray.
p.s. You may wish to review this related article here.
The Lift Doctor*