• Mette Thiessen
  • Maibritt Vestergaard Iversen
4. term, Clinical Science and Technology, Master (Master Programme)
Introduction: In rehabilitation situations in hospitals, healthcare personnel transfer patients to mobilize them, and therapists assist patients in training situations to increase the patient's functional level.
In these situations, lift aid devices are used while the patient is guided in physical activities. Research shows that transfer techniques do not reduce work-related muscle strain injuries. With an ergonomic approach, such as policies on patient assessment, reducing lift and use of assistive devices, reduces muscle strain injuries among health care workers, however, occupational therapists and physiothera-pists are at risk for these injuries.
Initiatives can be taken to ensure both therapist and patient as well as keeping the patient’s rehabili-tation, which shows the need for research for therapist’s use of devices for rehabilitation of patients. However, there exists many barriers against the correct use of these devices in practice. Therefore, in this project we examine the therapist and other health care workers use of devices in handling and the therapist’s position in the usage of devices as well as recommendations to improve safety factors for occupational and physiotherapists that in fact, transfer patients from bed to chair in a hospital in Region Nordjylland.
Method: The project follows a PDSA model, as an investigation after the introduction of an action plan, in connection with an immediate injunction in relation to therapists performing transfers, and offers suggestions on how to adapt the action plan, and improve practice.
The study includes qualitative semi-structured observations and interviews with therapists who make daily transfers in connection with the rehabilitation of patients. To uncover participants' reflections on their practice and attitude to use of aids devices, was the methodical structure based on the use of the Teku model. In addition, a survey was taken of therapists' and other professionals' use of aid de-vices.
Result: In the survey it showed that for health care staff, 43 % used devices 1-3 times a day, 7 % use 4-6 times a day and 50 % use 7-9 times per day. Through observations and interviews, it has been found that therapists preplanned before transfers were preformed, where risk, assessment of the pa-tient and considered choice of aid devices were evaluated.
Through participants' opinions, a positive attitude to the use of auxiliary-devices has appeared. They experience, however, that there is a barrier as to their skills and experience towards devices, which is why some therapists feel uncertain in the use of aid devices.
Many experts agree that aid devices protect them from heavy lifting and make the patient more active in the transfer, and the patient can be mobilized earlier. Some therapists feel that aids support the cooperation between therapist and patient. To avoid therapists making heavy lifts and inappropriate transfers, efforts included the purchase of new equipment such as Walker and Return. However, ex-perience showed problems that Walker was big and unhandy to work with. In relation to the use of ReTurn, the biggest problem participants experienced was that the city municipality did not have Re-Turn available to patients when they returned home from the hospital. Besides this, the therapists have limited insight into the introduction process at the hospital. There are opinions that the partici-pants would like to be a part of the concept phase during the purchase of new technologies for their section, and that the testing and deployment of the use of aid devices should involve that the devices are used several times during the introduction so therapists are fully introduced to the device. A rele-vant report should include the action needed for an improvement of the present Action Plan.
Discussion: The project's result is similar to another Danish survey in relation to the use of assistive devices by healthcare professionals who daily make transfers. The project survey reinforces this knowledge and adds knowledge to which aid device health-care professionals use.
Therapist reflections on their practices are similar to nurses' attitude about practical importance for the profession and the resistance that is associated with change. There are earlier Danish studies that highlighted that there can be a change of attitude towards aid devices and their use by employees in hospitals with ergonomics that will increase the use of aid devices. This supports our selected actions. The limitations of this study is that it is conducted on a small group of participants, and the results reflect the present practice, which is not necessarily the same attitude and/or barrier to use of aid de-vices in other therapeutic areas.
Publication date2016
Number of pages130
External collaboratorRegions Hospital Nordjylland
Dorte Kristiansen dmk@rn.dk
Information group
ID: 234529200