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Bed to shower trolley transfer - SWI 004 2013


This information is a guide only for use by non-government organisations and service providers as a training tool (supplementary to training) and is not intended as medical or professional advice. Users must seek appropriate medical or professional service. The State Government of South Australia accepts no responsibility for the suitability or completeness of the information and expressly disclaims all liability for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any of the information.

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Stop, Think, Assess, Review

Stop before you begin, you must review the support plan of the client being assisted.

Think about the task, any equipment needed and the readiness of the client. Think about other options if this task cannot be done safely.

Assess the client by watching/talking to them to see if they are willing and able to participate in the task.

Review other options available if client not ready for task. Talk to supervisor/manager about other options.

Potential hazards

  1. Muscular or soft-tissue injury to client from incorrect handling, movement or posture.
  2. Muscular, soft-tissue or skeletal injury to workers from incorrect movement, posture, over-reaching or lifting the weight of the client.
  3. Client falling from bed or trolley.

Safety provisions

To prevent risk of injury to workers or clients during this manual task:

a. Follow all steps of this Safe Work Instruction (SWI).
b. Minimum of 2 workers for this task.
c. Be aware of movements during task, do not exceed your ability.
d. Check there is enough space to move the shower trolley at every step of task; remove any tripping hazards.
e. Communicate with client and other workers at every step of this task.


Set up

  1. Check the shower trolley (brakes) and slide board for any signs of wear or damage. If any faults, report immediately and do not use.
    Illustration of a shower trolley
  2. Make sure you know how to operate all controls of the specific shower trolley. If unsure, review Standard Operating Procedure for this shower trolley. Report immediately if SOP not available.
  3. Ensure handling is done with flat open hands (not grasping with opposing thumb and fingers).
  4. Refer to client's support plan for specific information.


  1. Assist client to roll to side, facing away from where the shower trolley will be placed.
1. Assist client to roll to side away from side shower trolley to be placed

  1. Put slide board into position with slide sheet.
  • Gather bed sheets over client (optional).
  • Worker on side facing client holds them in place (second worker).
  • Worker on opposite side of bed places slide board on bed (first worker).
  • First worker places folded sheet on board, tucking fold at the inside edge of the slide board.
2. Put slide board into position with slide sheet.

  1. Tilt board and position, then roll client back.
  • First worker to tilt and position slide board at client's back.
  • Second worker to roll client back on to slide board as first worker lowers the tilted board down flat.
  • Both workers to assist client to roll back on to slide board.
  • Pressure at the pelvis/hip is effective to facilitate rolling back.
3. Tilt board and position, then roll client back.

  1. Reposition client on slide board.
  • Ensure client is positioned correctly on slide board—the entire width of body must be on the board.
  • To reposition client, use slide sheet to move client into a better position on the board.
  • Ensure the client is secured before first worker moves away.
4. Reposition client on slide board.

  1. Bring shower trolley in position.
  • Second worker to hold slide sheet or bed sheets around client to hold them safely in position.
  • First worker to bring shower trolley over to side of bed.
  • Ensure height of trolley is slightly lower than bed.
  • When in position, put brakes on.
5. Bring shower trolley in position.

  1. Move client into shower trolley with slide board.
  • Release any sheets around client and spread slide sheet from bed across to shower trolley.
  • First worker to move client's feet into trolley without leaning and reaching.
  • First worker counts off, then using push/pull method, slide client across slide board into trolley, using slide sheet.
6. Move client into shower trolley with slide board.

  1. Complete movement from bed to shower trolley.
  • Use bed sheets to assist with sliding motion.
  • When client in trolley, second worker removes slide board.
  • First worker secures client in trolley before releasing brakes and moving trolley away from bed.
7. Complete movement from bed to shower trolley.

  1. Secure side of shower trolley.
  • Release brakes on trolley, move it away so workers can access each side.
  • Second worker moves around to raise side of shower trolley to finally secure client in trolley.
  • Ensure client is safe and comfortable in shower trolley.
8. Secure side of shower trolley.

  1. Remove slide sheet.
  • Make sure client is safe before removing equipment.
  • Remove the slide sheet and any bed sheets using rolling method, in combination with undressing client as required, so as to reduce number of rolling procedures.
  • Prepare client for bathing.
  • Place slide sheet and slide board back in storage area.


  1. Safely conclude task.
  • Make sure client is comfortable.
  • Document any incident and report to supervisor immediately.

Attribution: Department of Human Services, the Government of South Australia, "Bed to shower trolley transfer - SWI 004 2013", Sourced on 23rd Oct 2021, ('

Page last updated : 12 Aug 2021

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