Sarah Weddle shares how varied her role in moving and handling is
My name is Sarah and I’m an operational lead for the trusts manual handling advisory service.
My role involves training colleagues on moving and handling procedures, assisting with accident and incident investigations relating to manual handling and carrying out equipment assessments.
I also chair the Northern Region group of National Back Exchange which is an association whose goal is to promote moving and handling and musculoskeletal health nationwide. Being part of this association helps my team keep up to date and share our expertise with other teams in the country.
The most rewarding part of my job is being able to advise colleagues who have handling queries, whether that be regarding patients or objects. It’s a very varied role and I get to meet so many colleagues from different areas in the trust. No two days are ever the same.
My background is in occupational therapy but I chose to move across to the moving and handling team nine years ago as I was interested in taking on a new challenge. We have a very diverse team made up of nurses with community, acute and theatre backgrounds. Having a diverse range of experience within the team is really beneficial to supporting staff as we have first-hand knowledge of the different moving and handling issues they may face.
Like many other teams, Covid-19 has presented additional challenges to the way in which we work. When we receive referrals, we now have to decide whether a visit is essential or whether the query can be resolved with telephone advice. This can be difficult as it is much easier to provide the best resolution if we have seen the issue in real life.
We now have less staff in face to face training sessions so we have had to change our approach and use technology to train virtually. I am so proud of how my colleagues have adapted through this difficult time to support our staff.