Transfer the Patient from Bed to Wheelchair Using the Transfer Belt


A certified nursing assistant often has to work with the patients, who have issues related to mobility. Because physical movement is very important for a patient, a CNA has to utilize different means and methods to ensure that the patient gets to do enough physical activity. For instance, to walk a patient from one spot to another, a nurse aide uses a transfer belt. Similarly, to transfer him from bed to the wheel chair, a nurse aide has to use transfer belt, so that the safety of the patient is maintained at all times. A transfer belt is a device that is around sixty inches long and about two inches wide. It is applied over the patient’s waist, which prevents him from falling down.

Greet the patient in a polite manner by calling out his name. Have a smile on your face whenever you wish the patient. Introduce yourself and explain him that you will be transferring him from bed to a wheelchair with the help of a transfer belt.

Steps to Follow for Transferring the Patient from Bed to Wheelchair Using a Transfer Belt

First of all, position the wheelchair near the bed of the patient, then help the patient to sit at the bed’s edge. Make sure that before beginning the transfer procedure, you lock the wheelchair.

  • Remember to remove the foot cleaner mattress way before you start transferring the patient, otherwise the patient can slip on it and fall down.
  • Make the patient wear non slippery footwear, before you start with the transfer procedure.
  • Help him get into the posture of sitting and make him sit on the edge of the bed. Give some time to the patient, to adjust to the change made in his position.
  • Apply the transfer belt around the waist of the patient in a secure manner. Make sure that the belt is not too tight that it injures the patient’s skin, restrict his breathing or blood circulation. The belt shouldn’t be too loose, as it may trouble the patient. Also, the belt should not come in direct contact with the patient’s skin because it can tear the skin when rubbed against it rigorously.
  • Before you begin with the transferring, help the patient in keeping his foot flat on the floor.
  • The front part (meant for seating the person) of the chair should be positioned along the side of the bed. For pivot transfer, the wheel located at interior front of the chair must be very close to the bed.
  • Decide a signal before making the transfer (like counting to 3). Tell the patient that when you give the signal, he needs to start trying to stand up. This will help you in coordinating with the patient in a better way.
  • Position yourself in front of the patient. Hold the transfer belt from both the sides, by reaching it from under his arms. The hands of the nurse aide should be in upward position. Brace the legs of the patient at the same time. This will help in keeping the patient’s legs stable when he is trying to stand up.
  • When you give the signal and the patient makes an attempt to stand up, grasp the belt tightly and pull the patient in the upward direction.
  • When you are helping the patient to stand, it is very important that you maintain the mechanics of your own body.
  • Help him turn his back to the wheelchair. The back portion of his legs should be positioned against the wheelchair.
  • Gently help the patient to lower down into the wheelchair’s seat.
  • The hips of the patient should be in contact with the seat’s back. Make sure that the patient’s body is aligned properly.
  • Bring back the footrest and position the feet of the patient on it.
  • After successful transfer of the patient from bed to the wheelchair, open and remove the transfer belt from his waist. This is needed to be done in a gentle way.
  • Ask her if he is feeling comfortable. If not, help him get into a comfortable position. Make sure that the calling button is within his reach.
  • Wash your hands properly. We have demonstrated the method of washing hands in our CNA skill demonstration of “hand washing”. Read it to know the correct way to wash hands.

What Does the Examiner See when You Perform this Skill?

When a student is performing a skill, the examiner notices each and every step taken by him very minutely. Below, we have made a list of such things:

  • If you have performed the activities you had to do in the start.
  • If you have applied the transfer belt tightly enough.
  • Before transferring the patient, if you locked both wheelchair and bed.
  • If you brought the bed at a level, where the patient can place his foot on the floor properly.
  • If you unlocked the wheelchair and removed the transfer belt, after transferring the patient.
  • Before transferring the patient, if you remembered to help him put on shoes.
  • If you have performed the activities that you were supposed to do in the end.
  • If you used proper infection control techniques and took standard precaution during the entire process.
  • If you made sure that the patient was comfortable during the entire process.
  • If you made sure that the rights of the patients were maintained during the procedure.
  • If you made sure that the patient was safe during the entire process.

Video Demonstration

Below, we have posted a video that shows the best technique to demonstrate how to “Transfer the Patient from Bed to Wheelchair Using a Transfer Belt”, when you are performing the CNA skill in the certified nursing assistant skill examination. Try to notice every single detail demonstrated in the video:

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