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Effects of Incorrect Handling in Care

When discussing moving and handling in a care setting, it's critical to acknowledge the potential impacts of incorrect techniques. These impacts can be detrimental to both the care staff and the individuals they support. Let's explore some potential consequences and how to mitigate them.

The Risks of Incorrect Handling

Various situations require moving and handling support, such as using a hoist, aiding in standing, repositioning in bed, or standing from the bed. All these scenarios carry their own risks and are influenced by the individuals' experiences. Injuries can occur due to improper techniques, use of incorrect equipment, or lack of staff training. The result could be harmful for the person being moved.

The Psychological Impact

In addition to physical injuries, incorrect handling can cause emotional distress, leading to fear, a powerful emotion that can originate from prior experiences of rough handling, lack of compassion, or inconsiderate treatment. This fear can manifest as changes in the individual's behaviour, such as aggression, agitation, or anxiety, often linked to their fear of what might happen during the moving and handling process.

Physical Injuries and Consequences

Physical injuries could range from falls due to the lack of an ability assessment, to harm caused by improperly used equipment. For instance, a poorly positioned sling could pinch the individual's skin. Accidents like skin shearing, where skin is removed due to improper use of slide sheets, or friction burns, can also occur. These injuries, resulting from poor techniques and inadequate staff training, significantly impact the well-being of patients and service users, potentially leading to resistance or behavioural changes.

The Impact on Staff and the Importance of Correct Practices

Incorrect handling practices not only affect the individuals being moved, but can also cause anxiety among staff. This is particularly the case when a patient has been labelled as 'difficult', a label that might stem from past mistreatment. Therefore, it's essential to care and support individuals appropriately, seek their consent, and always work in their best interests. The primary aim should be to ensure that moving and handling techniques do not have a negative or derogatory impact on the individual.