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Tampa General Hospital Lift Team Celebrates 20 Years

TAMPA, Fla. — Tampa Bay has a lot of winning teams, but you can argue none of them work as hard as the Lift Team at Tampa General Hospital. They help an average of 150 patients a day in and out of bed, 24/7.

“Before I started here I didn’t even know it was a thing to do at a hospital but its actually pretty unique to Tampa general,” said Injury Prevention Tech Noah Miller.

Miller is one of about 30 Injury Prevention Technicians to make up the Lift Team.

“A lot of the times many of these patients don’t think they can get out of these beds but honestly, we can work with any patient to get to the chair wherever they need to be,” said Miller.

Manon Labreche helped start the Lift Team back in 2002, at the time it was the first of its kind in the state.

“This was an initiative to really reduce injuries among nurses but what we didn’t realize is, fast forward 20 years later, not only does it help to protect the nurses, but it’s a huge patient satisfaction,” said Labreche.

Since the team was put in place TGH saw the number of patient handling injuries reduced by 71%.

“Nurses lift on average 2.2 tons a day, that’s a lot,” said Labreche.

TGH Nurse Danielle Falk worked at other hospitals and has experienced firsthand what it’s like not to have a Lift Team.

“People acquire lots of back injuries and I actually asked them if they have a Lift Team and they laughed and they were like, ‘does that really exist,’” said Falk.

The TGH Lift Team only continues to evolve investing millions of dollars into new equipment. They aren’t just protecting the safety of their staff, but the dignity of their patients.

“Making it more comfortable as well for our patients being lifted with equipment rather than being manhandled with a bunch of people,” said Labreche.

Gary, a patient recovering from chest surgery, said when he saw the Lift Team he knew he was in good hands.

“No stress on my chest injury where they opened me up, so I had no pain, and it was very easy to move into bed,” said Gary.

“When they walk into the room it’s like an instant relief when the patients know this is what the team does all day long,” said Falk.

This team is proud to lead by example and open to share their secret to 20 years of success.

“We’ve had people from all over the world come look at our hospital, visit and shadow our Lift Team, from Denmark, from the UK, even China,” said Labreche.

“I think it would behoove other hospitals to follow this model because it’s just extremely helpful,” said Falk.

“It makes me feel like I’m doing my part here at the hospital you know helping with the healing,” said Miller.

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