5 Reasons Staff Are Resistant to Using Safe Patient Handling Equipment


Safe patient-handling equipment has been a major development in modern healthcare, significantly enhancing patient safety while simultaneously reducing the risks healthcare providers face while promoting patient mobility. Despite the numerous clear benefits this technology offers for both patients and providers alike, some healthcare staff are still hesitant to integrate this essential technology into their care routines.

Joerns, a trusted name in the industry, offers a range of state-of-the-art safe patient-handling equipment designed to improve clinical workflow and reduce caregiver injuries. We are committed to addressing barriers that keep patients and staff from the benefits that safe patient-handling tools offer.

1. Insufficient Training

Insufficient training is a major potential barrier to the use of safe patient-handling equipment. Many medical staff correctly realize that using this equipment without sufficient training creates a high degree of risk for both the patient and the equipment’s operator. Concerns about litigation risks for the facility or disciplinary measures further increase reluctance to use repositioning devices without a full and complete understanding of how it functions.

Comprehensive training programs can help overcome this resistance. The knowledge and proficiency a training program provides can lead to increased confidence, resulting in safer patient transfer practices. Any good training program will include hands-on experience. This will promote staff comfort and familiarity with safe patient-handling equipment, further increasing their confidence when using it.

2. Time Efficiency Concerns

Concerns over time efficiency are often cited as reasons for resisting the routine use of safe patient-handling equipment. Most clinical staff have a familiar, well-established clinical workflow and view the implementation of new technologies or processes as potentially disruptive.

Evidence indicates, however, that the proficient use of safe patient-handling tools can streamline clinical processes and make work more efficient. The use of repositioning devices may initially be disruptive to fast-paced clinical workflows but will quickly provide a means of saving time during patient transfers, allowing more time for other essential patient care activities.

3. Technophobia

Resistance to technological advancement is not uncommon in healthcare, especially in those who received their clinical education in a day in age prior to many of the more recent technological advances. More mature clinicians may have an underlying fear or mistrust of new technologies and may find them difficult to learn.

Embracing technology, however, can result in marked improvements in patient safety and efficiency. From preventing falls to reducing the risk of caregiver injuries, the advantages of integrating safe patient-handling equipment into routine practices far outweigh the initial learning curve. It is important to support those who may have underlying technophobia, providing them with extra support and increased exposure to these technologies outside of clinical utilization.

4. Perceived Complexity

The perceived complexity of safe patient-handling equipment can seem daunting to some clinicians. This is an important factor that healthcare leaders must consider when purchasing this type of equipment. Different types of equipment that do that same thing can vary widely in how complex they are to actually use.

Joerns designs its products with the end-user in mind. Our equipment provides intuitive controls and clear instructions aimed at simplifying patient handling procedures and alleviating staff anxiety associated with complex machinery. We believe staff should be able to focus their attention on the patient, not on figuring out how to use patient-care technology. 

5. Trust in Personal Handling Techniques

Some healthcare professionals are steadfast in their belief that their personal handling techniques are superior to mechanized equipment. This is especially true of providers who have practiced for years or decades without patient-handling support tools.

Research evidence demonstrates the contrary. Safe patient handling equipment is designed to work in a wide variety of conditions, reducing the risk of injury to both the patient and caregiver. It also ensures consistent, safe practices that personal techniques can't guarantee.


Many of the barriers to adopting safe patient-handling equipment are very valid. These barriers can, however, be overcome, and there are significant benefits to making this happen and promoting the use of these tools. Through proper training, dispelling misconceptions, embracing technological advancements, and trusting evidence-based research, healthcare professionals can implement repositioning devices into their clinical routines, ensuring improved patient safety and caregiver well-being.

Overcome these barriers and enhance your healthcare practice. Reach out to Joerns for more information on their safe patient-handling equipment, access professional training resources, and discover how to seamlessly integrate these tools into your clinical setting. With Joerns, you are taking a step towards safer, more efficient patient care.

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