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Kent State Trumbull Nursing Students Practice Safe Patient Handling

Posted March 18, 2013 | Megan Tomkins
enter photo description
A Hill-Rom representative demonstrates safe patient handling
and how to get a patient from a sitting to a standing position
with assistance from Kent State Trumbull nursing student
Katie Jessep.

The Kent State University at Trumbull nursing program recently hosted representatives from Hill-Rom medical technology provider for hands-on demonstrations of safe patient handling and workplace safety in clinical settings.

Alice Colwell, nursing professor at Kent State Trumbull, coordinated with Hill-Rom, a manufacturer and provider of medical technology for the healthcare industry, to introduce lifting equipment that nursing students would likely use in clinical settings and in their future careers.

“It began with me wanting sophomore through senior nursing students to gain exposure to various lifting devices and getting more of a hands-on experience, and I didn’t want them to wait until they got to their internships,” says Colwell. “So, I called Hill-Rom about their education department coming to show the students how to do safe patient handling and they agreed to an on-campus demonstration.”

Hill-Rom supplied representatives and the lifting equipment. The representatives conducted 15-minute presentations for students to observe throughout the afternoon.

“They were willing to show us the equipment and agreed with the importance of exposure to proper lifting equipment,” says Colwell. “They researched the equipment in the area where the students would be doing clinicals and tailored it to what the students would likely be using to move patients.”

Katie Jessep, senior nursing student, says she appreciated getting the opportunity to participate in the demonstration.

“I found the demonstration to be beneficial to the students and I’m thankful to Mrs. Cowell and Hill-Rom for coordinating it,” Jessep says.

Colwell says learning safe patient handling is important for several reasons.

“Students need to be aware of proper patient safety and transfers to keep their patients safe and, in turn, keep themselves safe from injuries,” Colwell says. “It’s been mandated that specially designed equipment should be used rather than nurses lifting by themselves. There can be a lot of injuries if the equipment isn’t used or is used improperly.”

Jessep agrees that learning safe patient handling earlier in the nursing program is beneficial to students.

“I feel that learning safe patient handling will have an enormous impact on preparing me for my career,” says Jessep. “Lifting and transferring patients is a big part of patient care. We already see lifts in some hospitals where we do our clinical routines.”

Colwell hopes that she will be able to further develop and continue to host the seminars for all students to learn about safe patient handling in the future and that she can extend it to the other Kent State campuses.

“It is better for students to get exposure to safe patient handling before they become nurses,” says Colwell. “More practice makes them better and more comfortable with it.”