Is it legal for a home health aide to use a hoyer lift alone?

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I currently work for a home health agency where the client needs a Hoyer lift to get from her bed to a wheel chair and so on. The lift is an old one you have to pump and it is hard to move around. While I was meeting my client there was a nurse and other aides there and I over heard them saying that it is illegal in Maryland to operate a Hoyer lift without two people. I have tried to find a valid resource and cannot. I know in hospitals and nursing homes you have to have 2 people. Is it the same for home health care?

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Hate hoyers- awkward and can be dangerous for both people. Suggest all other options be evaluated before that last step. The person being slinged isn't using whatever muscles they have and hoyer use can accelerate loss of strength. Unfortunately most people do not know of the other options that could help. Would be glad to offer suggestions.
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lunaashes,

You can find tutorials on YouTube on how to use a Hoyer. They suggest you use 2 people.

About a hundred years ago when I was in school I would pick up extra hours as a home health aide. I worked for an agency. One of my patients was an elderly paraplegic and he had a Hoyer and thick shag carpeting. It was the type of Hoyer described above, the kind that has to be pumped. I wasn't accustomed to that kind as we had the electronic ones in the hospital. So one day I was at my patient's house and he wanted to get into the Hoyer. I got the sling under him but it didn't feel right to me however he said it felt fine to him. I figured he would know better.

Some hours later he had gone upstairs and downstairs (he had tracks all over his ceiling for the Hoyer) and was ready to go back to bed. He couldn't zoom down the stairs so he had to go very slowly with me supporting his lower back step by step. I look back on this now and wonder what I was thinking!? I was practically carrying him downstairs, in his sling, backwards, with no shoes on (no shoes on in the house).

At the foot of the stairs he said he felt like he was slipping from the sling. I asked him where he felt it and it was in the exact corner that I felt it earlier that day. Those slings have to be positioned perfectly or it's a safety hazard. His wife was of no use, she was elderly herself. I knew he was going to end up on the floor so I advised the wife to call 911. Of course this upset everyone.

I explained very calmly to my patient that I was going to unhook the sling while I held him and slowly and smoothly slide him down my leg to the floor. I reiterated that I would not drop him to the floor. The fact that I was in sock feet made it more difficult as I had no traction. But I was able to slowly slide him down my leg and place him gently on the floor unhurt. The paramedics were able to get him up and back into bed. All's well that ended well. But I never went back there again. I felt that a Hoyer should have 2 people managing it. That's what I was taught and I found out why.

In a home care setting a lot of things can fall through the cracks but when it comes to safety always err on the side of caution.
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Search Results

Found 18 Web Pages within Maryland Board of Nursing matching "Hoyer lift use"

Can't find what you're looking for? Search all of Maryland.gov.

Here is a search of mbon.org on Hoyer Lifts. There are 118 references on the site.
mbon.org. If you can't open the link go to the mbon website and search "Hoyer lifts". While searching on Google I did see several references stating you need 2 people present to use it safely.
Hope this helps.
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I wouldn't do it without written guidelines. Usually inservice would have a class on using a hoyer lift and the employee would get checked off on a skills checklist to be placed in your employee file. If you haven't received said inservice and never been checked off as competent in its use, I would decline & tell your supervisor you are uncomfortable performing that procedure and put it in writing to cover yourself.
Hope it works out for you. I bet you are torn but you are doing the correct thing for your patient and yourself in being proactive in your training.
If your agency doesn't back you up with a policy and procedure book, I would maybe think about working somewhere else. I know that is a hard decision as well but you obviously care for your patients and will be a valuable asset to whatever agency you work for, as your services are in demand.
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I am an unlicensed aid. My supervisor was there while the aids said it wasn't legal and just ignored their comments. We do not have a manual on how to work the Hoyer. I got at most 20 minutes of training on it that was only by another care giver. I will try to get the policy and procedure book. I know I could get in a lot of trouble that's why I am trying to figure it out before I work this weekend. Thank you!
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Ask your supervisor for the agency's policy/procedure on Hoyer lifts. It most likely will be in the policy. All agencies have policy and procedure manuals. Whenever I was about to do something as a RN and I wasn't sure of that agency's P/P I'd ask my manager or my education/inservice person to send me the policy via email and never had a problem getting it either. Use the guise that you want to make sure you are doing it according to their guidelines. I guarantee they have a policy, if they don't, don't work there-as if you do something incorrectly you will be in big trouble if you have to defend yourself as the first thing you will be asked is if you were following your agency's  policy in your caregiving. It is the caregiver's responsibility to review them and your supervisor must make them available for your review.   Better to be safe than sorry.
Also use your nursing board/CNA licensing as a resource, in Maryland it is mbon.org.
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