Manual handling means using your body to exert forces to lift, lower, push, pull, carry, move, hold or restrain any object or person. Incorrect manual handling can lead to many injuries including: muscle sprains or strains, abdominal hernias, back injuries and soft tissue injuries to the wrists, arms, shoulders, neck or legs. These conditions are known as musculoskeletal injuries or disorders.
While care and therapy staff will be subject to some manual handling during their daily duties, it is essential to follow the correct manual handling guidelines and procedures especially in dealing with patients and residents. It is also essential to understand patient mobility status and use the correct equipment.
Who is Eligible for Manual Handling Training
Total Health Physio provides ongoing manual handling training to Aged Care facilities throughout Melbourne. This is available for care staff and all other employees (i.e. volunteers, catering) of a facility.
Total Health Physio conducts regular in-house seminars for our own team to ensure everyone is up to date with the latest evidence and upskilling ourselves in terms of our ability to deliver this training.
We also undertake one-on-one sessions with the carers and family of patients living at home. This helps family members and loved ones to feel comfortable assisting with daily tasks, such as helping a patient in their car.
Our Manual Handling Training Described
Theory Presentation Content
- Rights and Responsibilities
- Causation/Relationship of Injury
- Defining Manual Processes
- Protecting yourself
- Practical and modular lifting techniques
- Strategies to avoid lifting
- Workplace Specific Manual Handling Techniques
- Preventing common injuries
- Preventing RSI injuries to the elbows, wrists and hands
- How to use visual and verbal cues in order to manage the patient’s position.
- General prevention strategies
- Identify the way in which staff perform their daily duties and the physical effect it will have
- Developing appropriate movement patterns for bending, leaning and reaching tasks.
- Identify which bending, lifting and reaching movement patterns can contribute to detrimental effects on the body
- Identify specific techniques for use in tasks associated with the Aged and Community Care Service Industry.
- Understand the rights and responsibilities of injury management
Our manual handling training seminars include both theoretical and practical training. Sessions can be tailored to suit each particular group. For example, when training volunteers we may deliver only the theoretical component rather than both. We would then follow up with one-on-one assistance as required. In other instances, we will start by carrying out a practical component with individual carers.
At the facilities we partner with, we usually perform six days dedicated towards manual handling per annum to assist with the induction of new staff and review for the current care staff.
This component of the training is purely educational.
We can deliver this to large audiences (venue and facility requirements will dictate this).
Each cohort will generally consist of 20 people.
Length = 90 minutes approx
The practical component is delivered in a personalised group setting of upto 8 people.
For residential care facilities, staff members are obligated to complete both components, and are then required to demonstrate competency in safe transfers, manual handling, lifting and so forth.
This creates a safer environment both for carers and for the residents.
Length = 60 minutes approx
When both theoretical and practical components of manual handling are delivered on the same day, the training session will run for approximately three hours.
If a group is over twenty, our head trainer and Senior Physiotherapist Tina will be joined by another Total Health Physio staff member in order to streamline the competency testing phase of the program.
Documentation Provided for Compliance
At completion of the training once they have demonstrated their understanding and competency of the practical component of the training participants are signed off as being competent in manual handling.
Total Health Physio is able to provide Manual Handling competencies (this is usually the case), alternatively, we can work with the competencies of the organisation we are representing.
Training is then repeated annually in order for them to maintain that competency.
How to Book our Manual Handling Training
Simply contact us with an enquiry and we will work with you to devise a training plan. Please let us know:
- How many staff require training
- How manual handling is currently managed
- Preferred dates
- What components of training you require
- Relevant information from your falls committee if applicable
Total Health Physio comprises qualified Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists & Personal Trainers who are highly experienced in delivering these manual handling seminars, so we can tailor a program to suit your requirements.
Manual Handling Training FAQ
Is the training always the same or does it vary based on the individual carer or patient?
Every resident at a nursing home will have a care plan that includes details of their current mobility status together with a classification of what is required when it comes to manual assistance.
For example, some residents will be marked as requiring two-person assistance, while others will be marked as requiring one-person assistance. These classifications can relate to many factors, including the size of the patient, their cognitive status, their falls risk or their strength and capabilities.
The mobility status of each patient is clearly marked in each room, outlining what level of support they require. This informs how movements are supported to ensure that everything is done in a way that is best for both the patient and the carer. In every instance, safety is of prime importance and will be the first thing considered.
Typically speaking, the theoretical components of manual handling are identical from site-to-site, but the practical component is tailored to that care staff
Have you had feedback about your manual handling training?
Yes. At Total Health Physio we pride ourselves on delivering quality training and this is reflected in the feedback we receive from our participants.
Recently we delivered manual handling training to a cohort of volunteers and we had really strong feedback, particularly highlighting how engaging the participants found the training to be.
We find care staff are appreciative of this training, as it is an investment into their wellbeing and knowledge whilst performing their duties.
What outcomes does manual handling training lead to for the facility involved?
Manual handling training creates a safer environment for residents and for staff. It reinforces safe lifting practices, which in turn prevents workplace injuries. It also contributes to a supportive care environment for the patient.
Manual handling training is also integral for facilities to achieve their NDIS and Aged Care Standards compliance.
Manual handling training results in various positive outcomes. Most importantly, this improves the quality of life and independence of our patients, and also leads to a safer workplace with care staff being trained appropriately for their role.
There is the added benefit of better staff retention and performance in their role.
For all of these reasons, manual handling training is a very important part of residential care for staff and residents.
What are some scenarios where family members would require manual handling support?
There are many daily tasks family members perform for their family members, such as helping them out of bed, getting out of a chair, wheelchair, etc, these can lead to injuries for those family members.
People in scenarios like these would benefit from professional manual handling instruction.
Total Health Physio addresses each patient holistically, we will assist family members with manual handling if that is appropriate.
How important is manual handling in the duties of a clinician?
Manual handling is an essential part of therapy in the community. It plays a significant role for clinicians because it informs what we do and how we interact with our patients. It is also critical to preventing workplace injuries and accidents.
As therapists, our role often involves transferring patients in a range of ways. Manual handling also relates to specialised equipment such as hoists or standing machines too; it becomes very important to learn about and understand how to use the equipment safely and effectively. This is particularly important for patients that are using Assistive Equipment.
Can manual handling training help care staff with patients with complex conditions? (i.e. spinal cord injuries)
As per the first question in this FAQ, every resident at an aged care facility will have a care plan in place. This care plan is based upon assessments to determine exactly what is required for each individual.
An overview of the patient’s care plan is located in their room to ensure that each carer is aware of that person’s ability and mobility status.
For example, there are patients who require hoists. In those cases, this is clearly indicated in their care plan so that any carers involved know exactly what is required to best support that person. For a patient who is non-ambulant due to a spinal cord injury, their care plan may include the requirement of either a standing or hoist machine which means they will require two people supporting them