Northwell caregivers took part in a congenial competition with weighty significance – properly moving patients in the 2nd annual Safe Patient Handling Olympics. The event brought together nurses, nurses’ assistants, occupational and physical therapists to share best practices and raise awareness for an important everyday task during this event, hosted by the health system’s Center for Learning and Innovation (CLI) and Patient Safety Institute.
“In 2014, New York State passed the Safe Patient Handling Law, because health care employees are getting hurt when moving and lifting patients,” said Asha Roy, clinical injury specialist in Northwell Health’s Department of Workforce Safety. “We want to make sure that every employee in this health system who handles patients is empowered with the skills to move them properly.”
Fourteen Northwell hospitals were represented at the Safe Patient Handling Olympics. Teams of five competed together, demonstrating safe and proper patient handling techniques that benefit both patients and health care workers, alike. The teams used motorized lifts and other devices to safely transition standardized patients in different scenarios. Teams were judged by a nurse, an occupational therapist and the person they had to move.
“I’ve been a nurse for 34 years, and I wish that we had all of this equipment back in the 1980s when I first became a nurse,” said Yvonne Joseph, RN, nurse educator at Northwell’s Institute for Nursing. “Seeing health care workers having these lifts to assist in moving patients so that they don’t get hurt and the patient is safe is really phenomenal.”