Figure 1-26. The move.
Step: The patient hoists himself by moving the hips, shoulders and legs, thus
completing the move to the X-ray table. Throughout this move, make
sure that the stretcher is flush up against the X-ray table with no
space in between.
CONSIDERATIONS: MOVING A PATIENT WHO CANNOT ASSIST
a. Minimize Movement and Never Lift Patient Alone. A patient who is too
sick to assist must be handled differently. Such a patient should be moved as little as
possible for the patient's protection. Never try to lift a helpless patient alone. When
moving a relatively heavy, helpless patient to the X-ray table, move the patient on a
sheet with four to six movers assisting. (Two to three movers generally suffice for a
b. Practice Good Body Mechanics. Think, too, about protecting yourself by
practicing good body mechanics. To avoid straining the muscles of your back when
lifting a heavy patient, flex the knees, straighten the back, and bend from the hips
(figure 1-27). Some of the steps in the draw-sheet pull and three-person carry (paras
1-14 and 1-15) illustrate these important principles.
c. Protecting the Patient During the Move. When lifting a patient's shoulders,
be sure to support his head. While holding the patient's head with one hand, slide the
opposite arm under his shoulders and grasp the axilla so that the head can rest in the
crook of your elbow when the patient is raised. When you must move the patient's hips,
first flex the patient's knees. The flexing may make it possible for the patient to raise
himself. If not, it will, at least, make it easier to lift the body when the knees are bent.