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Quantum Units Education

Safe Patient Handling


1. The extreme physical demands associated with handling and moving patients are likely the largest contributing factor to high rates of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) among practicing nurses.

A. True

B. False

2. Which of the following is NOT one of the four main objectives of Safe Patient Handling (SPH) training?

A. Provide evidence-based training on SPH to instructors at schools of nursing so that they can teach SPH methods to students

B. Ensure that students have an adequate understanding of safe patient handling procedures, with the primary focus on proper body mechanics

C. Provide a full range of educational tools nursing educators can use to increase effectiveness of the training program

D. Encourage all nursing educators to use the evidence-based, safe-patient-handling curriculum module and recommended laboratory activities for nurse training

Safe Patient Handling and Movement Concepts

3. Biomechanics, the study of the mechanics of muscular activity, is used to assess the alignment of patients when they are standing, sitting, or lying down.

A. True

B. False

4. When preparing for handling patients, the caregiver should organize the physical environment and the equipment to ensure safe completion of the task.

A. True

B. False

Recommended Student Laboratory Activities

5. Tasks to be practiced by students in laboratory settings should include:

A. Lifting a fully dependent patient out of bed and into chair using powered full-body sling lift

B. Assisting a cooperative patient with minimal lower body strength from sitting position to standing position using powered sit-to-stand lift

C. Transferring a fully dependent patient to a stretcher from bed using lateral transfer device

D. All of the above

Optional Background Didactic Material for Faculty

6. During the early pain stage associated with musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), body parts ache and feel weak soon after starting work but pain subsides shortly after finishing work.

A. True

B. False

7. An ergonomic approach strives to decrease the number and severity of job-related injuries in nursing practice by increasing safety and decreasing:

A. Stress

B. Fatigue

C. Strain

E. Discomfort

Characteristics of the Work Environment

8. A greater risk of injury occurs for nurses in nursing homes, geriatric units, and spinal cord injury units than in general hospital units because more patient handling occurs in these work environments.

A. True

B. False

9. Back injuries to workers in nursing facilities tend to be blamed on ____________ and lack of appropriate equipment.

A. Under-staffing

B. Excessive working hours

C. Poor training

D. None of the above

Characteristics of Job Tasks

10. The greatest risk for lifting injuries occurs when nurses bend and twist while bathing and feeding patients.

A. True

B. False


11. Research has shown that body mechanics alone will not protect against injury, as manual lifting techniques tend to focus only on the lower back and are based on the assumption that the load is stable and held close to the body.

A. True

B. False

Safe Patient-Handling and Movement Aids

12. Ergonomic interventions not only alleviate musculoskeletal discomforts for caregivers, but also help patients realize physical, psychological, and quality-of-life benefits.

A. True

B. False

Appendix A- VHA Safe Patient Handling and Movement Algorithms: Algorithm 1

13. During any patient-transferring task, if any caregiver is required to lift more than _________ of a patient's weight, then the patient should be considered to be fully dependent and assistive devices should be used for the transfer.

A. 30 pounds

B. 35 pounds

C. 40 pounds

D. 45 pounds

Bariatric Algorithm 1: Bariatric Transfer To and From: Bed/Chair, Chair/Toilet, or Chair/Chair

14. In most cases, if a bariatric patient is about to fall, there is very little that the caregivers can do to prevent the fall, so they should be prepared to move any items out of the way, protect the patient's head from striking any objects, and seek assistance as needed once the person has fallen.

A. True

B. False

Appendix B - Assessment Criteria and Care Plan for Safe Patient Handling and Movement

15. Patients with an independent level of assistance are those who require no more help than standby, cueing, or coaxing.

A. True

B. False

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