Upcoming webinar to share moving and handling best practices

3 minute(s) to read

Having a sore back is a common complaint among New Zealand’s healthcare workforce so learning how to move and handle people safely will be the focus of the upcoming Cubro Colab’s webinar on Wednesday 19 April.

Moving and Handling Trainer Rebecca Washbourn from On the Go Physio in Christchurch, will host this informative and practical session for anyone involved in transfers in a hospital, aged care or community setting.

“Manual handling really is the thing that injures people the most in workplaces,” she explains. “Many people develop bad habits. We expect our jobs to be hard and heavy and so then we don’t think about whether it could be easier. We just suck it up and get on with it and that leads to people getting hurt – and often that ends up being those in our care.”

Rebecca Moving and Handling trainer from On the Go Physio

Rebecca has worked as a Physio in New Zealand, the UK and the Cook Islands for almost 30 years. But she previously worked as a Healthcare Assistant in a rest home so knows first-hand what’s involved in moving and handling on the job, and just how sore your back can get.

This webinar is focused on best practice techniques for carers and advice on how to look after yourself. But the benefit also extends to the people being cared for.

“When we get it right, moving and handling is really respectful and dignified for those in our care. It helps them to feel safe. And when we get it right for staff and carers, they feel really confident and safe in their work. But it’s hard to look after people with dignity if we’re dragging and pulling them while grunting and groaning because we’re sore.”

While there are a lot of good resources and equipment available to help with manual handling, Rebecca says there’s plenty of room for improvement in New Zealand workplaces.

“On an international scale we’re probably a good 10 years behind best practice. Obviously, some places are doing it much better than others. But it’s not something that people tend to put money into either training staff or exploring new ways. It’s tough; people are really busy and trying to learn new things takes time. Manual handling doesn’t tend to come up first in the list of things we put our time and money into as a healthcare workforce.”

Good posture and technique will make a difference but Rebecca warns you can’t fix everything with good posture. “If it’s too hard, it’s too hard. Sometimes we need to have better equipment, more pairs of hands or more time. We’re still human after all.”

She hopes the upcoming webinar will be a useful professional development opportunity that will make a practical difference for people in a short amount of time.

“I would love it if everybody could take a wee mental step back from their jobs and identify the bits that just feel too hard. And think about different ways that we can do them. It’s lovely to have people starting this conversation and thinking about how they can do things better for themselves and for those in their care.”

Register for the webinar Wednesday 19 April at 2pm. Alternatively an on-demand version will be available to watch afterwards.