A study was conducted to demonstrate that for transferring patients from bed to wheelchair and wheelchair to bed, pulling a patient using a sling or belt requires lower hand forces and results in significantly lower erector spinae forces, compressive forces at L5/S1, perceived stresses to the nursing personnel, and increased comfort and security of the patient as compared to manually lifting a patient. However, the use of a mechanical hoist to transfer a patient does not necessarily produce reduced stress to the nursing personnel and/or increased comfort and security to the patients. Close attention should be paid to various aspects of patient transfer when selecting a mechanical hoist or a manual device. The results indicated that the Ambulift hoist and the two person walking belt with handles using a rocking motion and pulling technique appear to be the best mechanical and the best manual methods available. Patients were noted to feel very comfortable and secure with either of these methods. The nurses indicated that the two person walking belt can be used for patients who cannot bear weight, who are heavy, contracted or combative or who have equipment attached. The authors conclude that, ideally, only the Ambulift should be used for transferring heavy and totally dependent patients.