Beginner's Guide to VENDLET

Beginner's Guide to VENDLET

Although the turning system, VENDLET, was developed more than 35 years ago, it is still unknown territory for many health care professionals. If you have not had the chance to work with a powered turn aid before this article is for you!

17. February 2022

By: Occupational Therapist, Pia Beck

As a newcomer to the VENDLET world, there are some general tips and tricks you can use when operating the turn aid. You might also have some concerns about using the system, which we can quickly address. So, let's get started!

1. No, there is no risk of you rolling anyone on to the floor!

- Let’s set that straight

When we train healthcare professionals in using VENDLET, there is almost always someone who has this concern; "Can't I roll the client on the floor?" It may take some time before the person raises their concern, but the question will almost certainly come up every time. 

The answer is that it is almost impossible for you to roll anyone on the floor. For it to happen, you must continue to press and hold the button, even if you notice that the client is nearing the edge of the bed, while at the same time, completely ignoring the client's physical and verbal protests to what is happening.

If you feel very anxious about this happening, try lying in the VENDLET system yourself and have a co-worker transfer you from side to side to see how it feels. You will notice that it actually takes a while before you reach the edge of the bed, and that you can clearly feel the motor bar supporting you, actually making it possible for you to hang a bit over the edge.

2. Don’t be afraid to press the wrong button

- You will notice right away

If you are not a rountined VENDLET user, you might be afraid to press the wrong button. However, the system works in such a way, that it immediately stops when you release the button you are pressing.

It does not take more than a few seconds before you discover that you are pressing the wrong button, and by the time it happens, you have barely moved the client more than a few millimetres.

Therefore, if you are in doubt about what button to press to make the system do what you want, simply try one and see what happens. Just remember to let go if you find out it was the wrong one!

If possible, it is always a good idea to practice with a colleague before you start working with patients.

3. Remember the three steps in the transfer

- When you have to turn a client or patient to the side, there are just three steps you must remember: 

  1. Raise the side closest to you and tighten the sheet onto the bar. When the client comes closer to you, you move one of the client's arms over the client's chest.
  2. Then move the client's other arm out to the side so that he/she does not lie directly on the shoulder (just as you do when you lie on your side).
  3. Slide the client's upper leg over the lower leg when you reach the 'tipping point'. If you do it too soon, it will be too straining for you (and that is what we want to avoid), and if you wait too long, you will turn the client on his stomach (and can easily turn them back using the VENDLET system). After a little practice, you can feel the tipping point without thinking about it.

Turning a patient with the powered turning aid
Step 1
Turning a patient with the powered turning aid
Step 2
Turning a patient with the powered turning aid
Step 3


4. Do not stop during the turn

- Many stops and pauses are more uncomfortable for the client

Sometimes it will be necessary to stop in the middle of turning a client because the client asks for it or because you are disturbed by something else. But once you feel comfortable operating the hand control, and you know the three steps in the transfer, then you can work on not stopping during the transfer.

Releasing the button many times during the turn can feel uncomfortable and hesitant for the client, and the transfer will not be as gentle and smooth as you can otherwise achieve with VENDLET.

On the latest VENDLET models, you have the option to regulate the speed of the system to 50, 75 and 100 percent. Many find this useful when they are learning how to use the system at first.

On our website, you can watch a lot of instructional videos as well as videos with various tips and tricks. You can also watch our instructional videos if you scan the QR code on the VENDLET system.