Ergonomics: Nursing Home Resident Repositioning
Ergonomics: Guidelines for Nursing Homes
The following are examples of ergonomic solutions for nursing home resident repositioning in a chair and lateral transfer in a seated position.
Repositioning in Chair
Description: Variable position Geri and Cardiac chairs
When to Use: Repositioning partial- or non-weight-bearing residents who are cooperative.
Points to Remember: More than one caregiver is needed and use of a friction-reducing device is needed if resident cannot assist to reposition self in chair. Ensure use of good body mechanics by caregivers. Wheels on chair add versatility. Ensure that chair is easy to adjust, move, and steer. Lock wheels on chair before repositioning. Remove trays, footrests, and seat belts where appropriate. Ensure device is rated for the resident weight.
Lateral Transfer in Sitting Position
Description: Transfer boards – wood or plastic (some with movable seat)
When to Use: Transferring (sliding) residents who have good sitting balance and are cooperative from one level surface to another, e.g., bed to wheelchair, wheelchair to car seat or toilet. Can also be used by residents who require limited assistance but need additional safety and support.
Points to Remember: Movable seats increase resident comfort and reduce incidence of tissue damage during transfer. More than one caregiver is needed to perform lateral transfer. Ensure clothing is present between the resident's skin and the transfer device. The seat may be cushioned with a small towel for comfort. May be uncomfortable for larger residents. Usually used in conjunction with gait belts for safety depending on resident status. Ensure boards have tapered ends, rounded edges, and appropriate weight capacity. Ensure wheels on bed or chair are locked and transfer surfaces are at same level. Remove lower bedrails from bed and remove arms and footrests from chairs as appropriate.
Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA)
200 Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20210