Positioning Improves Work Health & Safety

Positioning Improves Work Health & Safety

At the group home Sydbo, an evaluation of all residents’ positioning needs has led to improved work health & safety during morning care, showing that positioning is not just about the comfort of the clients, but is also very important when it comes to the safety of the healthcare staff.

16. December 2015

Statement from Sydbo - A part of Disability Center Southeast Funen

When assisting clients with personal hygiene staff typically need to hold the client steady with one hand, meanwhile, washing the client with the other hand, which can cause twists and strain in the shoulders, arms and back. This is especially true during the care of very immobile clients who are typically unable to support themselves, or if the client is restless or lashing out.

Sydbo, which is a group home for clients with permanent physical and mental disabilities, has learned that the Danish Labour Inspectorate has instructed other institutions that the use of this method is a risk to the employees' health and safety. “I immediately thought that we had to start preventative measures and find a better way to manage the morning care,” says Cathrine Pedersen, a Physiotherapist at Sydbo.

They decided to evaluate all clients to find the best ways of positioning them and thereby ensure that the care staff is not strained when caring for them and that the client is comfortable. As such the evaluation took a 360-degree perspective on positioning.

Sydbo felt that the LEJRELET cushions from Vendlet would be ideal for both comfort and morning care positioning: "They are designed in a way that is easy to keep clean, they don't slide around, and they maintain their shape," Cathrine says.

The evaluation of each client was done together with a consultant from Vendlet, which provided cause for some interesting reflections: “Doing our evaluation this way gave us the time and quiet to find the most optimal positioning for each individual," explains the Physiotherapist Cathrine and continues: "Together we found some great ways of positioning that take into account each client's movement limitations, deformities, spasticity, etc.," she says.

Based on the evaluation, Sydbo's Physiotherapist prepared positioning descriptions for all clients that include pictures and a short text, making it easy for all employees to use the cushions.

As all employees have been introduced to the different positioning methods, it is the joint responsibility of the staff to keep up with using the products correctly. “I am confident in this project, and with the help of Vendlet, it will end up being a success for both clients and staff,” says Cathrine.