Section II: MOVING AND TRANSPORTING THE PATIENT
ASSESSING THE PATIENT
a. Weight. Have you ever moved a 350 pound patient? Although weight is one
consideration, the assessment that you make before moving and/or transporting a
patient involves a number of factors besides weight. The patient's physical and mental
condition, mobility, strength and endurance, balance, and ability to understand must be
determined as well.
b. Condition. Assuming that you have verified the patient's identity, the first
step in assessment is to talk to the patient to get an overall impression of his condition.
How is the patient feeling? Is the patient coherent? How well or poorly is he
c. Mobility. Can the patient walk around on his own? Is the patient's
movement limited in any way? You need to determine whether or not the patient will
need any assistance and, if so, the extent of the assistance needed.
d. Strength and Endurance. If the patient seems mobile, does he, for
example, have the necessary strength and endurance to walk all the way down the hall
e. Balance. Is the patient steady on his own feet? Can he sit and stand for long
periods, as required? Or, is there a chance that the patient could collapse halfway
down the hall?
f. Responsiveness and Alertness. What about the patient's mental state?
Does the patient understand what you are asking? Is he alert and responsive? Would
the patient be able to warn you if he suddenly felt dizzy?
g. General Rules. Figure 1-12 outlines helpful hints for preparing the patient to
be moved or transported.
HELPFUL TIPS IN PREPARING THE PATIENT
1. Provide only the assistance needed to ensure the patient's comfort and
2. Always transfer the patient across the shortest distance.
3. Lock all wheels on beds and gurneys.
4. Tell the patient what you plan to do.
5. Encourage the patient to help within his own capabilities.
6. Provide short, simple instructions to the patient.
Figure 1-12. Tips for moving and transporting the patient.