8.11 Skills Checklist: Transfer From Bed to Chair With Mechanical Lift

1. Gather Supplies: Mechanical lift, lift sling, second person to assist, and a wheelchair. Review agency policy for mechanical lifts. NOTE: The driver of the lift must be at least 18 years old.

2. Routine Pre-Procedure Steps:

    • Knock on the client’s door.
    • Perform hand hygiene.
    • Introduce yourself and identify the resident.
    • Maintain respectful, courteous, and professional communication at all times.
    • Provide for privacy.
    • Explain the procedure to the client.

3. Procedure Steps:

    • Raise the bed to a working height.
    • Instruct the resident to cross their arms over their chest to avoid rolling on top of their arm.
    • Using the lift sheet, roll the resident to one side. Coordinate movement with the resident and the second assistant to avoid injury.
    • Position the lift sling underneath the resident from the shoulders to the buttocks. Fan-fold the sling in the middle to allow the second assistant to pull it through on the other side. The handles should be facing away from the resident.
    • Ensure the lift sling is on top of the lift sheet.
    • Inform the resident they will be rolling over the gathered fabric of the sling.
    • (Second assistant) Using the lift sheet, initiate rolling the resident towards the first assistant with the resident’s arms still crossed, coordinating movement with the resident and first assistant.
    • (Second assistant) Pull the lift sling from underneath the resident, smoothing out any wrinkles.
    • Using the lift sheet, gently roll the resident back to the supine position.
    • Check that the resident is positioned in the center of the lift sling and their head and knees will be properly supported when lifted.
    • Check the body alignment of the resident.
    • Move the full-body mechanical lift into position over the resident, ensuring the lift does not come into contact with any part of the resident.
    • Raise the head of the bed to avoid pulling on the sling when connecting it to the lift.
    • Hook the top loops of the sling to the lift per manufacturer’s guidelines, ensuring the loops are the same lengths on each side.
    • Hook the bottom loops of the sling to lift per manufacturer’s guidelines, ensuring the loops are the same lengths on each side.
    • Position the wheelchair appropriately and lock the brakes. Provide ample room to rotate the lift from the bed to the wheelchair without hitting other objects.
    • Recline the wheelchair slightly if able.
    • Instruct the resident to cross their arms over their chest.
    • Prepare to support the resident’s feet by having the second assistant move to the same side of the bed as the driver and the lift.
    • Inform the resident you will be raising the lift and moving them to the wheelchair.
    • Raise the lift until the resident is no longer in contact with the bed while the second assistant guides the resident’s feet.
    • Position the resident over the wheelchair with the main support of the lift to one side, thus avoiding the resident’s feet coming into contact with the lift support.
    • After the driver of the lift moves behind the wheelchair, have the resident grasp the handles on the lift sling.
    • Instruct the resident you will be lowering the lift sling.
    • (Second assistant) Lower the lift while the driver gently pulls up on the sling to get the resident’s back positioned upright and against the back of the wheelchair.
    • (Second assistant) Guide the resident’s feet to keep their body aligned and avoid coming in contact with the left.
    • Remove the sling from the lift after the resident is properly seated.
    • Carefully move the lift away from the resident, avoiding the resident’s head and limbs from coming into contact with the lift.
    • Tuck the lift sling into the wheelchair, keeping the fabric smooth to avoid skin issues and keeping loops away from any moving parts of the wheelchair.

4. Post-Procedure Steps:

    • Check on resident comfort and ask if anything else is needed.
    • Ensure the bed is low and locked. Check the brakes.
    • Place the call light or signaling device within reach of the resident.
    • Open the door and privacy curtain.
    • Perform hand hygiene.
    • Document and report any skin issues, pain with movement, or any other changes noted with the resident.

View a YouTube video[1] of an instructor demonstration of transfer from bed to chair with a mechanical lift:


  1. Chippewa Valley Technical College. (2022, December 3). Transfer from Bed to Chair with a Mechanical Lift. [Video]. YouTube. Video licensed under CC BY 4.0https://youtu.be/sqkE7MNndyE


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Nursing Assistant Copyright © by Chippewa Valley Technical College is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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