Ceiling hoists lighten the load at Hawkes Bay Hospital

3 minute(s) to read

When you’ve had a stroke, are recovering from surgery or are frail and elderly, getting out of bed is difficult.

For patients admitted to the Assessment, Treatment and Rehabilitation (AT&R) Unit at Hawke’s Bay Hospital, that task just got a little easier following the installation of an overhead lifting system from Cubro.

The Etac Molift Quattro gantry system has been installed in three different wards (a respiratory ward, a surgical ward, and the AT&R unit). The freestanding ceiling hoist is capable of safely lifting up to 300kg and can smoothly transfer a person to or from a bed, commode, wheelchair, floor or anywhere else within the four post square radius.

“Our ward deals with a lot of frail elderly patients,” explains AT&R Clinical Nurse Manager Nikki Ryniker-Doull. “People with fractured hips, amputees, stroke patients, brain injuries and those who are de-conditioned post-surgery and also those recovering from long medical events as well.

Prior to the overhead lifting system’s installation, staff relied on sling hoists to manually lift and transfer patients. “Those hoists have a much lower weight limit so if they were heavier patients we struggled. We used to do a lot of bed mobility exercises instead of getting people up which isn’t ideal for rehabilitation.”

“We have to get them to and from the bed, and move them onto a commode chair ready for a shower or get them up for the day and into their wheelchairs. Just getting them sitting upright out of bed is so much better for them. It’s better for their chests because it’s more open and there’s less risk of suffering pressure injuries from lying in bed all day," says Nikki

Nikki says several staff have suffered back and shoulder injuries as a result of the physical strain which was especially hard given the current workforce pressures and ongoing shortage of nurses in New Zealand.

 The new overhead gantry system can lift a patient via remote control, so there’s no physical effort involved at all.

 “Our staff really enjoy it,” she says. “It’s very easy to use and it’s safer for the patients too. The  maneuverability of it is excellent and once patients are in the hoist, it moves very smoothly along the rails both sideways and lengthways across the room.”

Nikki spoke to two stroke patients who have recently used the new overhead hoist. “They just love it. A lot of patients (as I would be, I think) are quite scared of hanging in the air. Being pushed around on a manual handling hoist is quite frightening and there’s quite a bit of anxiety around it. Whereas both of these ladies have said they feel quite safe and secure in this new sling and overhead hoist.

The purchase of the Etac Molift Quattro gantry was organised by Hawke’s Bay Hospital’s Occupational Health team. “They are very proactive in ensuring that staff are safe and also the patients,” Nikki says.

Training was provided by Cubro and the installation process was very straight-forward, particularly in the AT&R ward where there was plenty of space.

Charge Nurse Manager of Ward A4 (General and Vascular Ward), Alison Olsen, said one curtain rail and a fan needed to be removed before their ward’s overhead gantry was installed but overall the project had been a big success.

“It’s really good. So much easier to use than the previous hoist which was hard to manoeuvre. Training was provided and it was quick and simple. Several patients have now used it and have given positive feedback. They are very happy.”


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