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Two-Person Wheelchair Transfer

Title:
Two-Person Wheelchair Transfer
(part of NIDCR’s Oral Care for People with Developmental Disabilities Series)

Illustration of man in wheelchair

Description:
Some patients who use wheelchairs can transfer themselves into the dental chair, but others need assistance. The extent of the dental team’s involvement will depend on the patient's or caregiver's ability to help. Most people can be transferred safely from a wheelchair to the dental chair and back by using the two-person method.

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Low-Resolution Image of Man in Wheelchair
High-Resolution Image of Man in Wheelchair


Illustration of clinician standing behind patient in wheelchair. Clinician places his arms under the patient's upper arms and grasps the patient's wrists.

Description:
Support the patient while detaching the safety belt. Transfer any special padding or equipment from the wheelchair to the dental chair.

First clinician: Stand behind the patient. Help the patient cross his arms across his chest. Place your arms under the patient's upper arms and grasp his wrists.

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Low-Resolution Image of Clinician Standing Behind Patient and Grasping Patient's Arms
High-Resolution Image of Clinician Standing Behind Patient and Grasping Patient's Arms


Clinician standing in front of the patient in wheelchair to lift the patient.

Description: 
Second clinician: Place both hands under the patient's lower thighs. Initiate and lead the lift at a prearranged count (1-2-3-lift).

Both clinicians: Using your leg and arm muscles while bending your back as little as possible, gently lift the patient's torso and legs at the same time.

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Low-Resolution Image of Patient Being Lifted
High-Resolution Image of Patient Being Lifted


Patient positioned in dental chair

Description:
Position the patient after the transfer. Center the patient in the dental chair. Reposition the special padding and safety belt as needed for the patient's comfort.

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Low-Resolution Image of Patient Positioned in Dental Chair
High-Resolution Image of Patient Positioned in Dental Chair 


Credit:
NIDCR Publication: Wheelchair Transfer: A Health Care Provider's Guide

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This page last updated: February 26, 2014