I see some "heavy" patients. By heavy I mean they are difficult to position and transfer; some require two people to transfer from the mat to the wheelchair and back.
The aide and myself have a pretty good routine when doing this and we ensure we are properly positioned prior to the transfers. Every once in a while it doesn't go as smoothly as we like but we manage to get the patient safely from one place to another.
So, guess what? The PT decides to transfer the patient with that same aide. Now I am not the most agile person, nor the strongest, but if we are in a profession that requires us to lift, pull, push, etc., we should either develop techniques to allow us to perform these skills or have brute strength to overcome the obstacles.
I watched the PT and aide struggle going from the mat to the wheelchair on a slide board and it dawned on me, we are in PHYSICAL therapy, and therefore should be able to perform skills that are physical in nature. I tell people if they are not able to transfer certain patients they are in the wrong field. Maybe this is wrong to say, but what if they injure the patient and themselves trying to do something they are not able to handle?
After watching multiple attempts, I offered a bit of help and we were able to get the patient into the wheelchair. Then I got to thinking.
If a PT decides to set up goals that require a patient to sit on a mat for trunk stability, I assume transfers and balance were assessed and demonstrated at the evaluation or re-assessment period so that a further assessment can be made to determine if the patient is improving. Based on this assumption, this was not the first time the patient was transferred by the PT.
Either the patient got heavier in the day since I saw him or transfer skills need to be improved for patient safety.