Methods of Transferring Patient


In hospitals or health care facilities moving patient from one place to another is a common activity. Patient is transferred from bed to chair, chair to commode or wheelchair to tub. Once the physician permitted the patient out of bed, transfer activities are started. However, before doing so, it is essential that the nurse assesses the patient’s ability to participate in the transfer.

Preparing the Patient for Transfer

Maintaining muscle strength and participation in “push-up” exercises while confined to bed is important for the patient to perform to strengthen the arm and extensor muscles of the shoulder. In doing the push-up exercise, the patient should be instructed to sit upright in bed and a book is placed under each of the patient’s hands to provide a hard surface. The nurse then instructs the patient to push down the book while raising the body. It is essential that the patient raise and move the body in different directions by means of this technique.

Patient Transfer

A transfer is the movement of the patient from one place to another. In doing so, the nurse must teach patient and ask for his or her participation for successful results. There are many methods of transfer. The nurse should choose an appropriate technique for the patient by taking into considerations his or her disabilities and abilities. In most cases, it is very helpful if the nurse demonstrates the technique first before the transfer. During the transfer, the nurse coaches and assists the patient.

Primary Concern during Transfers

During a transfer the nurse’s primary concern is patient safety. This is demonstrated by keeping the following things in mind:

S – Sliding boards are used to bridge the gap between the bed and the chair if the patient’s muscles are not strong enough to overcome the resistance of body weight. Transfer or movement devices may be used in cases where mechanical devices are not available, additional personnel is needed for large patients.

A – Ascertain that chairs and beds are locked before the patient transfers. Potential hazards associated with transferring patients should be identified by the nurse and establishment of safe practices is essential.

F – Frequent assessment of patient needs by a registered nurse before transfer to determine patient’s ability to participate during the transfer and use necessary skill appropriate for this patient.

E – Ensure that one staff member remains with the patient during the transfer.

Daisy Jane Antipuesto RN MN

Currently a Nursing Local Board Examination Reviewer. Subjects handled are Pediatric, Obstetric and Psychiatric Nursing. Previous work experiences include: Clinical instructor/lecturer, clinical coordinator (Level II), caregiver instructor/lecturer, NC2 examination reviewer and staff/clinic nurse. Areas of specialization: Emergency room, Orthopedic Ward and Delivery Room. Also an IELTS passer.

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