White Paper

The Basics of Safe Patient Handling and Movement (SPHM)


Because of the repeated lifting it requires, nursing ranks in the top 10 occupations with debilitating work-related musculoskeletal disorders. To compound matters, the vast majority of nurses in the United States are aging at the same time American obesity is proliferating. Many nurses in the workforce are becoming less able to handle high-risk patient handling maneuvers as the tasks become increasingly more dangerous. What seems like a recipe for disaster can be averted if nurses follow the basic principles of safe patient handling and movement, including manual and machinery-aided methods, which are outlined in this white paper.

Learning Objectives

- Review the four basic principles of safe patient handling and movement.

- Identify steps prior to handling or moving a patient.

- Review friction reducing devices.




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