Using a Transfer Board If You Have a Spinal Cord Injury

August 10, 2016 | 8:00 am | By Pants Up Easy

We use the term “transfer board,” but it’s far from set in stone what that term means. Your standard transfer board looks like an oversized wooden clipboard, often with some built-in handles (like this). But in truth, many things could work as a transfer board. All that’s required is a strong flat service that can hold up your rear end.

So what does the transfer board do? Well, the name says it all. It’s used to help a wheelchair-bound person transfer to or from the wheelchair. It’s especially helpful if the patient has limited help available, and can’t be lifted all the way out of the chair comfortably.

Curious to learn more? Let’s discuss how to use a transfer board if you have a spinal cord injury.

  • We’re going to assume you’re in a wheelchair…

Since you’re on our site and you are looking for information related to transfer boards and spinal cord injuries. Therefore, all that follows is based on that assumption.

  • Moving on… where’s the board from?

Where did you get your transfer board? Again, it doesn’t have to be an explicitly labeled “transfer board” from a medical supply store. But it should be flat, sturdy and relatively lightweight: you do have to lug this thing around, after all. And it doesn’t have to be made of wood.

If you’re looking for something simple, check out Amazon or a medical supply retailer.

  • And now, to use it

Before we begin, remember that safety should be priority no. 1. A transfer board can be used completely alone, if necessary – but it’s easier with help. Let’s assume you’re transferring from bed to wheelchair. For starters, move the chair closer to the bed, with one armrest butted up against it – the chair’s seat should be facing you. You should remove the armrest if possible.

Next, place the transfer board on the edge of the bed, with about half of it hanging over (should be hanging above the wheelchair). You will place your rump on the half that’s on the bed, and then use the board to slide down into the chair. Use your hands to guide and steady yourself.

Once you’re in the chair, slide the board out from under yourself and voila! You’ve transferred. (Some practice will probably be smart).

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