Aim: There are increasing numbers of vulnerable flood victims in Thailand, particularly those who require physical assistance with being transferred to safe community programs; however, training programs in safe handling techniques remain scarce. This Thai research intervention study is part of the development aimed at preparing community health leaders (CHLs) to transfer vulnerable groups of flood victims to safer areas during disasters.
Methods: CHLs representing nine flooding areas of the Hat Yai Municipality (n = 37) participated in this study. All had taken part previously in an urban community development project. The safe patient transfer training course was developed by nurses and the outcome measures included: (1) knowledge about patient transfers; (2) skills in lifting and transferring; (3) the use of observation records; and (4) measuring ergonomic lifting techniques. Quantitative data were analyzed using descriptive statistics.
Results: The results demonstrate that CHLs’ knowledge about safely transferring vulnerable groups of flood victims increased at the end of the program, compared to what is was in the beginning (p < .01). In addition, compared to scores before the intervention, CHLs significantly increased their skills in safe ergonomic lifting techniques (p < .01).
Conclusion: Nurses can take an active role in improving their skills and the skills of community health workers in order to ensure safety for both vulnerable flood victims and volunteer groups when facing natural disasters.