Image Credit: Saskatchewan Polytechnic
Image Credit: Saskatchewan Polytechnic

Patient transfer lifts in SIM centres provides critical safety training

Education promotes the reduction of workplace injuries in health care

Saskatchewan Polytechnic’s four Simulation (SIM) Centres provide a specialized training environment for students in a number of medical related programs, including Practical Nursing, Psychiatric Nursing, Paramedics and Continuing Care Assistant.

Students in these programs are required to take transfer lift repositioning (TLR) courses. The patient lifts are mounted on tracks attached to the ceiling and include components that are ground mounted as well.

Kara Delveaux, program head, SIM Centres, Saskatoon Campus says, “The lifts give real life experience and practice to our students just before entering into the clinical setting. Students practice on each other which allows them to feel what it is like to be lifted as a patient along with practicing the proper patient lifting techniques.” Delveaux adds, “Proper communication between the patient and the practitioner and practicing the proper lifts and repositioning methods protects both the patients/clients as well as the workers from injuries.”

Transfer, repositioning and lifting patients is a leading risk of injury according to Annette Goski, director of prevention with the Saskatchewan Workers' Compensation Board (WCB). “Health care is one of our targeted industries to help support and work with to reduce serious injuries in the province of Saskatchewan. On average we have approximately 2500 serious injuries each year. Of that number, health care has approximately 500 serious injury claims a year – which equates to around 20 per cent of those injury claims with the WCB.”

The WCB provided $25,000 for four patient transfer lift repositioning systems to the SIM Centres with the aim of reducing the number of healthcare related workplace injuries.

Goski says, “By investing in these lifts we are supporting Sask Polytech in providing the practical piece of TLR training to students. Then we hope they will be training in the proper and safe way to do these tasks before they enter into the workplace.”

The WCB's vision is to eliminate all workplace injuries and illness and restore abilities. “The lifts will ensure proper knowledge and practical training is given to students in order to prevent injuries from taking place in the workplace once they enter the workforce,” adds Goski. “By learning proper techniques beforehand, we are also hoping that new workers will ask questions when they see things happening in the workplace that is contradictory to the way they were taught.”

Sask Polytech operates four SIM Centres across the province, one at the Regina campus, two at the Saskatoon campus and one located at the Prince Albert campus. The training space is used by students in the Schools of Nursing, Health Sciences, and Continuing Education.

Published May 2021