Ask A Magnet Nurse: How The Lift Smart Program Helps Patients And Hospital Staff

Sarah Johnson, RN-BC, Resource Coordinator, 5 South, St. Joseph’s Hospital

Smart Living: What is the Lift Smart program that St. Joseph’s/Candler has implemented?

Sarah Johnson: Lift Smart helps nurses and other healthcare workers move patients in a way that doesn’t cause injury or strain. There are several devices that are designed for the different kinds of assistance that patients need.
SL: Is it designed to help the patient or the nurse?

SJ: It helps us both. People may not realize that back injuries for caregivers are often the result of the accumulation of the times a person has had to lift or move a patient. A nurse could be hurting herself or himself without feeling it. For the patient, it makes the actual move much smoother and more comfortable.

SL: What are the Lift Smart devices?

SJ: We have ceiling lifts with a weight capacity of 600 pounds. It can be helpful in moving patients from a bed to a stretcher, or bed to a chair or toilet. We have a mobile lift, a sit-to-stand device, and a stand assist device. We also have sliding sheets called Sally Tubes, which decrease the resistance when sliding a patient from a bed to a stretcher.

SL: What feedback have you received from patients about this method of assistance?

SJ: Some patients worry about being uncomfortable or even falling when they first hear about how Lift Smart works, but as soon as they see how secure this equipment is, they also see how much more comfortable they can be. Being lifted in a large sling is much safer and more comfortable than having hospital staff pull and tug on you to help you move.

SL: Is Lift Smart primarily for overweight patients?

SJ: No, the Lift Smart equipment helps any patient who needs help moving from one place to another. For instance, recently we helped an amputee move from one bed to the other with the Sally Tubes. It was a much quicker and smoother transition than the patient would have experienced being moved by several nurses. As co-workers, we share responsibility for our work environment, and the culture of safety we create is not only for us or for certain patients but for everyone.
  • St. Joseph's Hospital Campus: 11705 Mercy Blvd., Savannah, GA 31419, (p) 912-819-4100
  • Candler Hospital Campus: 5353 Reynolds St., Savannah, GA 31405, (p) 912-819-6000
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St.Joseph's Hospital Campus: 912-819-4100

Candler Hospital Campus: 912-819-6000