Most patient lifts operate with the use of a sling. Slings come in a wide variety of styles and designs, and are integral to ensuring a safe patient transfer. In order for a sling to be suitable, it needs to fit the patient correctly and be well paired with the patient lift that you are using.
There are four main categories of patient slings – Universal, Commode, Stand Assist, and Disposable. Each of these sling types is made slightly differently to best accommodate its intended use. The exact type of sling that is right for you will depend on the type of transfers that you will be doing.
Slings are made of soft materials including fabric, mesh, nylon, and polyester. They support and wrap around part of the patient's body, and attach to patient lifts by the use of multiple straps. Some slings feature soft linings to help cushion and protect a patient's body.
Patient slings have differing sizes and weight capacities. When working with a patient, it is important that a sling fits him or her correctly. Using an incorrectly sized sling can make for an unsafe transfer, and has the potential to rub and pinch the patient. If you are working with multiple patients, then you will need to have multiple slings to accommodate their different sizes.
Don't forget to also make sure that a sling's weight capacity is appropriate for the patient. Slings have weight capacities ranging from 100 to 850 pounds, so you're sure to find an appropriate sling for any patient.
When choosing a sling, carefully consider what type of slings the patient lift you are using is designed to work with. Some lifts work only with one particularly sling style, while others offer more versatility and can work with different sling types.