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How to position the patient to their sides?

In case of severe weakness, patients are not able to move, sit or stand up and they remain lying in one position. To help them with their daily activities, certified nurse assistants need to move them to their sides. If they have to change the bed linen or have to place the bed pan below them, patients have to be rolled to one of their sides. There is a proper procedure to do this activity. Go through this article to understand the correct way.

Steps / Procedure to be Followed to Position the Patients to their Side

  • Firstly, wash your hands properly using antiseptic soap and lukewarm water.
  • Dry your hands and wear gloves.
  • Raise the height of the bed a little so that you can comfortably reach both sides of the bed.
  • Bring the patient to the center of the bed with the help of a draw sheet. This will minimize the risk of falling down of the patient from the bed.
  • Hold the sides of the draw sheet and pull it towards yourself in the upward position. This will roll the patient towards his side.
  • When you try to turn the patient towards the other side of the bed, ask him to hold the bed railing (if he is capable of holding it on his own).
  • Place pillows under the draw sheet to support the patient’s back, knees, buttocks and arms.
  • Dispose of your gloves and wash hands properly.


Things to Remember

In case of non-ambulatory patients, it’s very important to roll them towards one side to prevent blood clotting, bed sores and pain due to body stiffening. It is the responsibility of the CNA to reposition a patient many times a day to avoid such problems.

What does an examiner monitor when you carry out this skill?

  • If you wash hands properly before commencing the task.
  • If you raise the side railing of the bed to prevent the patient from falling.
  • Do you help the patient roll towards his side, in the center of the bed?
  • Do you utilize pillows to support the patient’s head, back, arms, legs, knees, etc?
  • Whether you ensure that the patient is comfortable in new position.
  • Whether you wash hands properly after you are done with the complete procedure.

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Expert’s Tips

  • Reposition the patient towards his left and right side many times a day.
  • Make the patient perform some body movements regularly to prevent blood clotting. Set up a regular routine to make the patients habitual and comfortable with daily practice, and eventually, they will not dread it.