In November 2018, I attended our 3 Day Moving & Handling of People Instructor Course run by our Moving & Handling Expert, Alan Reed. This 3 Day Course was filmed by local videographer, Brian Barnes of Activideo, as our Director Gareth Milner had decided to produce a Course Explainer Video (available to watch at the bottom of this page) to allow Care and Clinical Services Professionals to gain an insight into the structure and high quality delivery of our Instructor Programmes. Osteopathic Solutions' Manchester based Consultant Jose Fernandez also attended. All of us had varied roles and backgrounds within our work with Jose being a Registered Osteopath and Manual Handling Trainer and the 2 other attendees, the Head of Security for Manchester Metropolitan University as well as a Physiotherapist from Ramsay Healthcare.
Despite our varying backgrounds, we all had one thing in common; to learn about the subject of Moving & Handling of People and qualify with the competency to teach techniques and transfers. For me, having a marketing and administration based role for Osteopathic Solutions, it was essential to absorb as much knowledge as possible about the subject within the 3 days in order to develop a good understanding to aid my role and further my position within the business. Often when writing various posts for social media, or simply analysing photos in which our Moving & Handling of People trainers take on Course days, I felt (before attending the 3 Day Programme) it took me some time to work out names of transfers, equipment and how to simply place a suitable heading to a photo.
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Before the Course started on Day 1, all attendees met in the canteen which was directly beside our training room (for more information about the Disabled Living Centre in Manchester please view our Course Venue page on this link). Our Leeds based Moving & Handling of People Expert Alan Reed commenced the Course in Training Room 1. On first impressions, this training room seemed perfect for our training course. It was a large room with a classroom area where we could sit down for the theory as well as having a great selection of equipment for learning of the practical techniques and transfers. The practical learning area of the Course was the predominant focus of this highly practical Instructor (Train the Trainer) Course.
After a short introduction from Alan Reed, he then asked us to introduce ourselves briefly; speak a bit about our backgrounds and with the attendees explaining how Moving & Handling was carried out within their roles. It was really nice on this particular Course as we had coordinated a small group due to our Course Explainer Video, which gave us the ability to get to know each other and ask plenty of questions, giving us a great opportunity to truly learn the ins and outs of the subject matter. After our short introductions we then had classroom theory including interesting basic anatomy of the spine as well as a look at the important laws relating to Moving & Handling of People and Adult & Social Care. Alan also taught us some interesting definitions including ‘Cumulative Strain’ which is the ‘progressive degeneration or stiffening of body and muscle tissue due to habitual, excessive or prolonged exertion or loading. It is the result of actions and movements that build up tissue damage over time eventually leading to injury and pain.’ This description was an important one, especially to those carrying out a lot of physical work like care industry workers do. The final part of Alan’s presentation looked at real life, hazardous manual handling postures and practices. Looking at commonly practised, hazardous manual handling within varied working environments gave us a great opportunity for a group discussion on why these habits are so bad for our musculoskeletal system.
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THE VENUE: DISABLED LIVING, MANCHESTER
After completing the theory part of the course (totaling 90 minutes), at 10.45am we got straight into the practical side of things, which was important with moving & handling training being such a practical and hands on subject matter. Alan firstly asked us to demonstrate our Best Practice lifting and lowering of an inanimate load within the practical area. One by one we all demonstrated and constructively critiqued each other’s manual handling skills. This element of the Course was essential as it perfected our posture in preparation for the Moving & Handling of People techniques and transfers.
We then moved over to the equipment area to commence Moving & Handling techniques and transfers practical. The first transfer we looked at as a group was pushing and pulling of a wheelchair. Alan took us outside for this exercise, as there were ramps as well as kerbs, so as to make the practical realistic. I had never pushed a wheelchair before, and definitely underestimated how physically hard it is for carers, especially trying to push the dependent person on any type of weathered ground. Alan encouraged me to push through my leg muscles, allowing for a more smooth and all round physically easier transfer.
In the left photo, I am demonstrating best practice pushing of a wheelchair up on to a kerb with an attendee acting as a patient and Alan Reed observing my efforts. After this exercise, we then returned to the training room and began to work through the various transfers, beginning with Sitting to Standing. For this transfer, we discussed the different factors for a successful transfer. Points to consider which arose for discussion were: the material of the chair, the height of the chair, chair depth and angle, muscle strength of the patient, motivation to be active, cognitive skills and any medical conditions which the person may have. For this transfer, we all took turns being the handlers covering 'Minimal assistance transfer - 1 handler with verbal guidance' as well as 'Minimal assistance transfer - 2 handlers with verbal guidance.' There was a lot to cover within the 3 days but Alan’s clear teaching method alongside being able to refer to the Osteopathic Solutions Moving & Handling of People Instructor Course Booklet made the learning experience a lot easier. Also with it being a small group, having the ability to take turns on being the patient enabled all attendees to have a full grasp of the technique and what it entails.
As we worked through each transfer individually, Alan also highlighted hazardous practices and encouraged the attendees to share their experience if they had seen any of this within their working environments. This was an interesting topic for discussion and highlighted important reminders such as when using a handling belt, the handler should not place the whole of their hand through the handle of the belt in case the person falls, as this is likely to cause injury to the handler and the person.
In the video clip below, Alan was demonstrating Sitting to lying down Supine using a slide sheet with the assistance of Osteopathic Solutions’ Director Gareth Milner (who was in attendance on Day 2 of the Course). 2 handlers are best practice for this transfer, although a single handler transfer is possible.
As written in our Course Booklet, the handlers are required to: Ensure the bed’s brakes are on. Adjust the bed to a height that ensures the person’s feet are flat on the floor. Raise the head end of the profile bed. Fold the flat sheet and place it on the bed so that half of the sheet comes off the bed. One handler is behind the person gripping the folded flat sheet with one knee bent on the bed. The other handler now frees the flat sheet from under the mattress and with a squatting posture, facing square on to the person’s legs, brings the flat sheet to scoop the person’s lower legs. The handler behind the person maintains their support of the folded sheet. The person is encouraged to push with their arms into the mattress to move themselves into the centre of the mattress. The head end of the profile bed is lowered and the slide sheet removed.
As we efficiently made our way through each transfer in the Course, with the help of Alan’s expert guidance, our Director Gareth Milner accompanied him to observe the training and support Brian Barnes of Activideo Ltd (Gareth pictured with Brian on the right photo) with the filming for our Course Explainer video. View our Case Study of this filming on this link. Aside from the many transfers covered on our intensive 3 Day Course, we also learned about a variety of equipment within the industry. Before attending this Course, I had never seen any of this equipment, so it was great for me to fully involve myself in the training by using the equipment myself whilst listening to, and absorbing Alan’s expert guidance. In the left photo below, Alan Reed was showing us the correct use of a Stand Aid with the help of one of the attendees. This piece of equipment was designed to allow safer transfers between a Bed and a Chair, Bed/ Chair and a Commode, Chair to Chair and Wheelchair to a Toilet. When teaching us, Alan highlighted that the use of a stand aid requires the person to have good upper body strength and grasp, with the ability to maintain standing balance. The Disabled Living Centre Manchester had a variety of stand aids within its training room for us to view and experiment with, which really helped my understanding.
Another important piece of equipment we learned about was a hoist and how to correctly fit a sling. Below in the photo on the left an attendee is ready to be hoisted from the wheelchair with an overhead hoist on a ceiling track. For this area of the training we moved into a sensory room within the Disabled Living Centre. There were many subject areas to cover connected to hoisting. With regards to a mobile hoist, it was important to fully inspect it before use by ensuring its battery power is high, its wheels are fully functioning, the spreader bar is in good working order, the weight of the patient doesn’t exceed the maximum weight in which the hoist allows (its Safe Working Load), and all electrical functions are working properly. Below on the right, I am being hoisted from the floor by Alan supported by an attendee.
Alan also noted that even when hoists are used there are still risks to the handler of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) due to the combination of sustained and repetitive, forward bent (stooped) postures, sometimes high physical effort to fit slings and to push and pull mobile hoists when the person has been lifted by the hoist (especially over thick carpets and/ or confined spaces). The overhead hoist had benefits over the mobile hoist including a reduction in the risk of MSDs to the handler due to no physical pushing and pulling of the hoist, removal of confined space issues, inappropriate flooring problems and it also does not require storage space.
On Day 3 of the Course we revised some of the many techniques and transfers we had covered within the first 2 days including Sitting to Sitting using a Transfer board, Use of Profiling Beds, Assistance back to Bed, Supine to Sitting on the Side of the Bed, Side Lying to Sitting on the side of the Bed, and Rolling the person to apply Slide Sheets. For a full list of the techniques and transfers covered click this link for the Course Outline and Learning Outcomes or better still watch our Course Explainer Video below. We also looked at managing the fallen person using verbal guidance.
As the course learning outcome was to be able to teach the subject, some of the final areas of the Course we covered were how to successfully train the workforce, with Practical Skills Course structure and delivery. For the attendees who would be teaching the subject, all of the Course Outlines were made available to them via our online Course Folder supported by our comprehensive 105 page Course Booklet included in the competitive, per attendee Course Fee.
Overall I found this Course to be a very positive experience within my role for Osteopathic Solutions. I’m not going to lie, I was slightly nervous on Day 1 with my lack of background in the subject matter. Alan Reed, our expert Moving & Handling of People Instructor made my experience very enjoyable and eased any worries I had with trying to condense my learning into 3 days. I found the Course to be very intensive yet thorough, and very well taught by a trainer who clearly has a lot of experience within teaching of Moving & Handling. Any technique or transfer in which I felt needed revised, I simply asked Alan to go over it and we then demonstrated it as a group. I am proud to have attained a B Grade from the 20 minute formal Practical Assessment (which our Director Gareth Milner has said is an excellent result especially with no background in Adult & Social Care). If you are looking for a highly practical Moving & Handling of People Instructor (Train the Trainer) Course, I would highly recommend this Course, as I truly felt it could not have been taught better.