How to Properly Use a Patient Lift


Patient lifts allow people to increase their mobility and give them a sense of independence and freedom. However, in order to keep this sense of independence and freedom, you need to learn how to safely and properly operate the lift. You want to avoid breaking the lift and injuring the patient. Do not fret though. It is not difficult to use a lift; however, if you want to get the best out of it, there are a few tips you need to follow.

  • Read your manual. You should know how the machine works and at least become familiar with the parts and what they do. As with any piece of machinery, you should never just start pulling and tugging on parts to see if you can make it do what you want. You need to become knowledgeable on all of the aspects of the machine to help boost your confidence and feel more independent.
  • If someone is helping you get into the lift, make sure they know all of the steps required to safely and properly get you into the lift. You do not want someone assuming they know how to use your lift and then having them break it or injure you. It is easy to improperly place someone in a lift and cause an injury.
  • If you happen to be the someone helping the person into the lift, remember to take every precaution necessary to keep them safe. They are fragile and need to know the person taking care of them has their best interests at heart. Most people would even recommend that you take a ride on the lift yourself to know how the patient is feeling during a lift. Also, in order to not injure yourself, you need to follow the rules of a proper lift. You know to lift with your legs and not your back and do not twist your body. You do not want to injure yourself while trying to put your patient into the lift.
  • If this is your first time operating a lift, please do not attempt it alone. As with most new things, the movements and components can feel weird, and it will help you to have someone there to watch you and walk you through it if you do need help. They can offer you helpful tips as you are going through the process and also come in and stop you if you are moving something wrong and prevent you from injuring yourself or the patient.
  • If you are putting someone into the lift, it may put their mind at ease if you explain what you are doing as you go through the process. This may give the patient a better sense of security and help them feel more comfortable with what you are doing. It could mean a lot to someone who has lost so much of their independence to know what is happening to them step by step.
  • Ensure that your lift is on a flat and stable surface. Never attempt to use the litton an incline or slope. You do not want to throw off the balance of the lift. The legs of the lift can shift from further apart to closer together and throw off the machine’s stability. You want to always have the legs at their widest point and in the locked position prior to putting anyone on the lift to ensure the stability of your machine.
  • Make sure that your sling compliments your lift. Most slings are sold separately from your lift, so you need to ensure that both pieces fit together. You should get the advice of your doctor to ensure that you find the best sling for you and your lift. There is a huge selection of slings to choose from, and you want to rest assured that you chose the best one for your needs. The easiest way to do this is to consult with your doctor or medical provider.
  • Inspect your sling before each and every use. While slings are made from heavy-duty materials, it is in your best interest to check your sling for wear prior to using it. There is a lot of wear associated with lifting people day in and day out, so it is best to play it safe and always check your sling. You do not want to find yourself in the middle of a lift and notice the sling tearing. So, to avoid any unnecessary accidents inspect your sling daily.

It can seem overwhelming trying cooperate a patient lift. However, if you take your time and get to know your machine, it is not that difficult. You will need to pay attention and be aware of all of the safety precautions each and every time you use your machine. I am sure that with time you will become more and more accustomed with how your machine works, and you will start doing everything automatically without even realizing it. This will only help you achieve that sense of independence and freedom that you have been searching for all this time.

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