Safety checks before using your slide sheets
Why do we need to perform a safety check before using slide sheets? Patient moving and handling comes with risks, the risk of injury to the mover or patient, as well as external hazards. This is why it is so important to thoroughly check your slide sheets before use. Do you know what you need to check before using your slide sheet? Continue reading to find out.
The first part of slide sheet checks are the visual checks that are carried out as you open up the sheet. Slide sheets should be checked before every single use. As you unfold it, make sure to check for any obvious signs of damage. Things such as soiling, tears or loose threads.
After an initial visual check, it is important to look closer and more thoroughly. Move the slide sheet through your hands and look for any signs of damage or weakness. You can ask a colleague to assist you in these visual checks, or if you want to open up the sheet fully to perform the visual check.
The visual check should highlight any issues with the slide sheet. However, to mitigate risks, you may want to also feel for any damage or first signs that damage could occur during use. For example, as you are running the slide sheet through your hands to look for visual damage, try to feel for any structural issues, loose threads or any spots that don’t feel right.
This is a useful check when using slide sheets with handles. Ensure the handles feel sturdy enough to use.
Environment safety check
While checking the slide sheets is important, it is also important to assess your surroundings. Look for any physical hazards such as cords, furniture or items on the floor that you could trip over.
If the patient is on a bed, ensure you have checked the bed is at the correct height for your movement. Also check that the hospital bed brakes are applied. Being aware of your surroundings helps further reduce risks.
Patient safety check
Don’t forget to check on your patient throughout, ensure they are not only positioned correctly, but that they are feeling safe and comfortable too. A comfortable patient allows you to move and position them with more confidence.
Ensure you let your patient know what is happening, tell them where you will be moving them for example. Include them in the process, which also builds trust.
Other safety check requirements
If a slide sheet shows any signs of damage or wear and tear, they should be discarded to avoid any risks to the mover or patient. There are also other elements you can check after your safety checks.
You should also check you are using the correct type, e.g. flat, tubular or transfer sheet. After this, you should also check the size is correct for the movement being carried out. Once you are prepared with your slide sheets, check you have any other accessories you may need, such as a bed wedge or extension straps.
Professional manual handler Lois told us that the type and size of the slide sheet needed depends on a number of things, such as, what is the task? Where is the person going? How tall or wide are they? What space is available? Amongst other considerations. The wrong slide sheet could potentially be uncomfortable for the patient, and make the task more difficult for the handlers.
You can find a variety of slide sheets at Interweave. We supply flat and tubular in a wide range of sizes. You can also find these slide sheets in a patient specific option or reusable (launderable) option. Or perhaps you need slide sheets with handles, or you might require transfer sheets. We know that some handlers prefer to use handles when moving patients, check out our range of slide sheets with handles.
Whatever your requirements, we have a slide sheet for you. Shop slide sheets and accessories here.