The type of change was both a technological and a cultural one. Technologically, a means of physically moving a patient from a bed a to a chair had been developed and was now to be utilized, for easier and safer modes of conducting a procedure. This technology consisted of the ability to produce a small hover-craft effectively making it safer to transfer a patient from a bed to a chair and back again. Culturally, the change applied to the concept that as an organisation, for years it had been considered the organisational norm to be tough and physically capable of lifting and moving patients. The words ‘if you can’t lift them, you shouldn’t be nursing.’ were all too common. Where as now, the concept that is trying to be applied is ‘if you can’t lift them get mechanical assistance.’
The driving force of the change
The driving forces of the change includes the introduction of new technologies making it physically easier to utilize the technology of a Hover Mat, the nature of the workforce including the increased professionalism, the change in social trends increasing the amount of obese people in society today, and the economical and political benefits of decreasing the workers compensation claims associated with back injuries caused by poor manual handling methods. The new technology was the invention of the ‘Hover Mat,’ which allowed the safer transfer of a patient from a bed to a chair and back again.
The change in the nature of the workforce included over the years the introduction of degree trained nurses and with it increased professionalism, which pushed the unions to further decrease the amount of back injuries associated with nursing, as nurses were no longer looked upon as labourers.
The change in social trends involved societies developing increasingly sedentary lifestyles, while maintaining high food intakes, leading to increased obesity within society. This causes patients to be heavier and forces the drive for physical change in manual handling methods. Economical restraints have found that it is more viable to ensure a safer working environment than to spend vast amounts of money on workers compensation claims due to back injuries (Sydney Western Area Health Service 2005, p. 4).
Lastly, it was political necessary to show the general public that the health organisations were committed to decreasing the high level of back injuries due to poor manual handling devices and methods, as a failure to do so, would cause more and more persons, as well as those already within the industry to opt towards other career paths.