How To Lift A Patient Off The Floor

Sometimes when you’re working in health care, you’ll see one of your patients on the floor. Maybe they’ve slipped or possibly fallen out of their bed. Whatever the reason, you’ll need to lift them up – but how?

This may sound silly, but there can be specific ways to lift a patient up from the floor to avoid injury and potential lawsuits. 

How To Lift A Patient Off The Floor

This guide will tell you the best way to lift a patient up off the floor, what you should remember and why it is important. 

Here’s what you need to know. 

What Should You Do When You See A Patient On The Floor?

The first thing that you should do is assess the situation. Is this person injured? If so, then call for help immediately. If not, then you have time to figure out what needs to happen next. 

If the patient has been hurt, then you should take immediate action. Make sure to check for any signs of life, such as breathing, pulse, etc. 

If the patient isn’t hurt, then you still need to make sure that he/she is okay. Check if they are conscious by asking them questions like “are you awake?” and “can you hear me?”

Also, look at their eyes to see if they are responsive. If they are unconscious, then you should move them into an upright position.

This could mean moving them onto their side, back, or even lifting them up with pillows.

If the patient is conscious, then you should try to get them into a comfortable position. For example, if the patient is lying down, then you should try to get them into a sitting position (with the aid of pillows).

Finally, once you think that everything is fine, then you should document all the steps that you took to ensure that the patient was safe. Now, it’s time to pick them up off the floor. 

How To Properly Lift A Patient Up Off The Floor

Unfortunately, due to age and ill health, many elderly patients will often fall to the floor. It’s important that you know how to properly lift them up off the floor though. 

First, you should stand over the patient and ask them if they are alright. If they say yes, then you should slowly lower yourself down until you are standing directly above the patient.

Next, gently place both hands under the patient’s shoulders. Then, use your legs to push against the ground while simultaneously pulling the patient towards you.

Once the patient is lifted, you should hold them in place using your arms.

Why You Need To Know How To Lift A Patient Up From The Floor

It’s important that you learn how to properly lift a patient up from their floor because:

It Prevents Injuries

Many people who work in healthcare have seen patients get hurt while being moved. This includes things like slipping, falling, getting bumped, etc.

These injuries can lead to long term problems including recurring pain or even disability. 

By learning how to lift a patient up safely, you can prevent these injuries from happening and ensure your patient does not suffer any unnecessary pain or discomfort.

Helps Patients Feel Comfortable

When you’re lifting a patient up from the floor, you should be mindful of their comfort level. By ensuring that they are comfortable, you can help them feel more relaxed during the process.

However, if the patient feels uncomfortable when you start pushing on them, then you should stop right away.

Also, if the patient seems scared or anxious about the whole experience, then you should slow down the process.

It Prevents Lawsuits 

One of the most important parts of knowing how to lift your patient properly is because of potential lawsuits.

When you lift someone up, you may accidentally drop them or do them accidental harm, which can cause them injury.

This can lead to a lawsuit which can cost you thousands of dollars and can even lead to you losing your job.

To avoid this situation, you should always remember to follow proper safety procedures when lifting your patient.

What Happens If I Injure The Patient By Accident?

If you injure your patient by accident, then you’ll need to take responsibility for what happened.

This means that you’ll need to pay for any medical bills related to the incident as well as any legal fees associated with the case.

Also, if you’ve injured your patient, then you’ll also need to provide an explanation as to why it occurred. If you have followed all the correct steps but still accidentally injured your patient, you may not have to be financially responsible for their care. 

This is why it’s so important to not only ensure you’re following correct procedure, but also that you’re noting everything you have done down for reference. 

How To Lift A Heavy Patient 

The last thing you want to happen is to injure your patient due to improper lifting techniques. Fortunately, there are some tips you can use to make sure you don’t end up doing something wrong.

First off, you should never try to lift a heavy person without first asking for assistance.

You should also make sure that you’re wearing appropriate shoes. Shoes that are too small will increase the chances of you injuring yourself.

Finally, you should make sure you’re standing upright. When you’re standing straight, you can easily see where you’re putting your hands and feet.

These three simple precautions can help you avoid injuring your patient.

How To Lift A Patient With Disabilities 

Lifting patients with disabilities can be difficult, but as long as you have asked for assistance and then taken into account what disabilities they have, you should be able to lift them safely.

For example, if your patient has arthritis in their joints, then you should position the patient so that their knees are bent slightly and do not lift them forcefully as this can cause pain. 

If a patient needs a wheelchair, ensure you have one nearby. These simple steps are crucial when following correct procedure and avoiding lawsuits and extra injury. 


Ensuring you know how to lift a patient properly off the floor is important, so you avoid injuring them or yourself, and you are not hit with a potentially costly lawsuit.

Eddie Lamb