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Safe Patient Handling and Mobility: Development and Implementation of a Large-Scale Education Program

Lee, Corinne, DNP, RN, ACNS-BC; Knight, Suzanne, W., DNP, RN; Smith, Sharon, L., PhD, RN; Nagle, Dorothy, J., MSN, RN-BC; DeVries, Lori, BA, MA, LPN

doi: 10.1097/CNQ.0000000000000204
Original Articles

This article addresses the development, implementation, and evaluation of an education program for safe patient handling and mobility at a large academic medical center. The ultimate goal of the program was to increase safety during patient mobility/transfer and reduce nursing staff injury from lifting/pulling. This comprehensive program was designed on the basis of the principles of prework, application, and support at the point of care. A combination of online learning, demonstration, skill evaluation, and coaching at the point of care was used to achieve the goal. Specific roles and responsibilities were developed to facilitate implementation. It took 17 master trainers, 88 certified trainers, 176 unit-based trainers, and 98 coaches to put 3706 nurses and nursing assistants through the program. Evaluations indicated both an increase in knowledge about safe patient handling and an increased ability to safely mobilize patients. The challenge now is sustainability of safe patient-handling practices and the growth and development of trainers and coaches.

Professional Development and Education, University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor, MI.

Correspondence: Corinne Lee, DNP, RN, ACNS-BC, Professional Development and Education, University of Michigan Health System, 300 N. Ingalls, Ste 6B17, Ann Arbor MI (

The authors acknowledge the Department of Professional Development and Education at the University of Michigan Health System—the team contributed to this successful effort. Special thanks to Sheryl Woloskie, MS, RN, and Mark Erber, MSN, RN; the key logistic team for SPHM; and to our partners in Safety and Ergonomics, Brenda Myers, Senior Ergonomist, and Garry Kupfner, Ergonomic Specialist, for their expertise and time they willingly shared.

The authors have disclosed that they have no significant relationships with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article.

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