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Why manikins are the solution for safety training in your care home

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In a care setting, no one should manually lift patients on a regular basis without the help of a hoist, sliding sheet, sling, or other specialist equipment.  But sometimes, it is necessary for someone to manually lift or move a person in their care, when there is no equipment to help.

Statistically, Care Workers are at a high risk of workplace injury, caused by lifting and handling and so it is important that all workers in the sector receive adequate training to minimise these risks.

Guidance from those in the know, including the RCN, the College of Occupational Therapy, the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, the Care Standards Act 2002 and the Health and Safety Executive recommends that update training in client handling is required at least on an annual basis.

Client Handling training is delivered by a number of training providers around the UK – but you can ensure that these skills are reinforced by regularly practicing them in your own in-house training sessions.


Why ‘real’ people are not always the answer

It’s perhaps tempting to complete training using other people (usually our colleagues) – but this is not always the best way! Here are some common negatives seen when using live people in training:

Too Helpful – if you are practicing moving someone who is unconscious, you want to simulate an unconscious person! Sounds obvious right? But in fact, when using a volunteer to act as the unconscious person they will subtly (or not so subtly!) ‘help’ those doing the lifting. They may brace their own head and neck for example when being lifted (survival instinct means we always protect ourselves) or move their weight when someone is struggling to lift a limb.

Volunteer misses out -  it’s obvious really…if someone is acting as a volunteer for others to practice skills on, they cannot actively participate in the training themselves.

Risk of Injury – if someone is acting as a volunteer, there is a very real risk of injury to them. Accidents happen and no matter how safely you lift someone, there is always a risk of them getting injured as a result of a poor lift, or even a fall.


What other options are available?

The best alternative to using live volunteers is to use a training manikin. From a health and safety perspective, manikins greatly reduce the risk of injury as no one is acting as the patient. Manikins won’t complain if you accidently pinch them or knock them, or even if you drop them! At Ruth Lee we have more than 60 years’ experience and have a range of manikins for many different training scenarios. Our Patient Handling manikin is the perfect choice for manual lifting and handling training.

We also provide a Bariatric range of manikins in a variety of weights – from 90 kg (when you require the bulk of a bariatric person, without too much extra weight), right the way up to 180 and even 260 kg! This can be a very useful training tool if your home houses some larger individuals – allowing you to plan and train to manoeuvre them safely in an emergency.


What are the benefits for training with a Ruth Lee manikin?

There are many benefits to using Ruth Lee manikins for your in-house training. These include:

At Ruth Lee we are committed to helping you create realistic training and our experts can guide you through the process of choosing the perfect manikin for your training needs. Call us today on 01490 413 282


Another solution for lifting!

We have recently become a Distributor for ProMove slings. This is a great product which allows teams to safely manoeuvre and lift people where it is impossible or impractical to use a hoist (i.e. if someone has fallen in a confined space such as a toilet cubicle). Using a ProMove sling, a team of between 2 to 8 people can lift an individual quickly and easily making it an essential piece of equipment to keep in your care home.

Click HERE for more information

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