In 2021, a study was published in the Journal of Research in Nursing, about moving and handling care of bariatric patients. 322 clinical nurse managers were surveyed on the biggest barriers they faced when it came to caring for persons of size within their clinical area. The top 3 barriers that were identified are 1. lack of equipment at 75%, 2. lack of staff 65.2%, and lack of training and education 57.6%. This study highlights the challenges healthcare professionals face in establishing a culture of safety in caring for the bariatric population. Excess weight and weight distribution can be a barrier for a caregiver to provide even the most basic care. These patients require special equipment, techniques, and sensitivity to ensure the safety of patients of their caregivers. Here, we will explore six risks with moving and handling bariatric patients.

Safe patient handling is critical in bariatric care, where patients require specialized attention and equipment. Healthcare personnel must conduct patient assessment, use appropriate equipment, and receive proper training and education to ensure their safety and the safety of patients during movement. By addressing these risks, quality of care for these patients can be enhanced while fostering a safe workplace for healthcare providers.

Amber Slay, BSN, RN Clinical Director, Savaria Patient Care Academy

Amber Slay, BSN, RN

Clinical Director, Patient Care Academy


Dockrell, S., & Hurley, G. (2021). Moving and handling care of bariatric patients: a survey of clinical nurse managers. Journal of research in nursing : JRN26(3), 194–204.

McClean, K., Cross, M., & Reed, S. (2021). Risks to Healthcare Organizations and Staff Who manage Obese (Bariatric) Patients and Use of Obesity Data to Mitigate Risks: A Literature review. Journal of multidisciplinary healthcare14, 577–588.