Best practices for safe patient handling (SPH) in the rehabilitation setting from a physical therapy viewpoint are examined in an article that discusses the distinction between typical patient transfer tasks and therapeutic patient transfer tasks, explores using technology as part of a comprehensive SPH and movement program, and identifies tasks performed by PTs and rehabilitation nurses that present inherent risk factors for work-related MSDs, especially low back pain.

Recommendations from a 2004 national task force convened by the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), which included representatives from the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), the Association of Rehabilitation Nurses, and the VHA, also are included in the article.

The article offers solutions for high-risk tasks in the rehabilitation setting and identifies research needs in SPH.

Safe Patient Handling for Rehabilitation Professionals. Walters TR, Rockefeller K. Rehabilitation Nursing. Glenview: Sep/Oct 2010. Vol 35, Iss 5;216.

[Source: APTA]