Proper sling selection and application while using patient lifts

Rehabil Nurs. 2008 Jan-Feb;33(1):22-32. doi: 10.1002/j.2048-7940.2008.tb00189.x.


In response to staff shortages, an aging clinical workforce, and research on safe patient handling, manufacturers have provided an extensive array of patient-lifting technology, including ceiling, floor-based, and sit-to-stand lifts as well as slings that are required for their use. Expanded choice, however, may pose challenges to both healthcare facilities and individual clinicians. These challenges, if not successfully resolved, can preclude the consistent, safe, and efficient use of patient-handling devices. This article provides nurses and other direct patient care providers with a heightened awareness of the challenges to appropriate sling and lift use in rehabilitation and other clinical settings. A new way to categorize slings is introduced, and guidelines for safely evaluating and using slings for different patient-handling tasks are offered.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Baths
  • Choice Behavior
  • Equipment Design
  • Ergonomics / instrumentation*
  • Guidelines as Topic
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Humans
  • Infection Control
  • Lifting*
  • Nursing Assessment
  • Nursing Staff / education
  • Nursing Staff / psychology
  • Orthotic Devices* / classification
  • Orthotic Devices* / supply & distribution
  • Patient Selection*
  • Posture
  • Rehabilitation Nursing / education
  • Rehabilitation Nursing / instrumentation
  • Safety Management / methods*
  • Transportation of Patients / methods