Follow these steps to move a patient from bed to a wheelchair. The technique below assumes the patient can stand on at least one leg.
If the patient cannot use at least one leg, you will need to use a lift to transfer the patient.
Think through the steps before you act, and get help if you need it. If you are not able to support the patient by yourself, you could injure yourself and the patient.
Make sure any loose rugs are out of the way to prevent slipping. You may want to put non-skid socks or shoes on the patient's feet if the patient needs to step onto a slippery surface.
Explain the steps to the patient.
Before transferring into the wheelchair, the patient must be sitting.
To get the patient into a seated position, roll the patient onto the same side as the wheelchair.
If you have a gait belt, place it on the patient to help you get a grip during the transfer. During the turn, the patient can either hold onto you or reach for the wheelchair.
Stand as close as you can to the patient, reach around the chest, and lock your hands behind the patient or grab the gait belt.
If the patient starts to fall during the transfer, lower the person to the nearest flat surface, bed, chair or floor.
Pivot turn; Transfer from bed to wheelchair
Timby BK. Assisting with basic needs. In: Fundamentals of nursing skills and concepts. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer Health: Lippincott Williams & Wilkens. 2013: unit 6.
Updated by: Dennis Ogiela, MD, Orthopedic Surgeon, Danbury Hospital, Danbury, CT. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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