Basic Patient Care Procedures
2-5. TECHNIQUES IN MOVING BED PATIENTS
a. Preparation Before Moving Patients. The principles of body mechanics should be employed when assisting or moving the patient. Important points that should be resolved before the procedures start include the following:
b. Moving a Patient Up in the Bed. There is a tendency for the mattress and the patient to slip down when the head of the bed has been elevated. Lower the head rail to a level position and move the mattress up before repositioning the patient, as free space at the foot of the bed is needed to adjust the bedding.
Figure 2-8. Moving a patient up in bed.
c. Assisting a Patient to Raise Head and Shoulders. This procedure is used to remove or replace the pillow or to assist the patient into a sitting position. Stand facing the head of the bed with one foot advanced. Slip your arm nearest the patient under his axilla and brace this hand against the back of his shoulder. Tell him to bend his knees to relieve strain on his abdominal muscles and to brace the hand of his supported arm against the back of your shoulder. By linking arms, you and the patient make use of shoulder and chest muscles to lift his body weight (figure 2-9). This linking of arms provides mutual support. At the given signal, raise his back and shoulders by shifting your weight from the front to the rear foot. Use your free hand to support his head or to remove or replace the pillow.
Figure 2-9. Raising head and shoulders.
d. Moving a Patient to the Side of The Bed. A patient is easier to move or lift when he is close to the side of the bed since the medical worker can be closer to the patient's center of gravity. Consequently, other procedures require less strain. When working alone move the upper and lower parts of the body separately.
To move his upper body, slide one arm under his head and shoulders and one arm under his back; then slide his upper body toward you. To move his lower body, slide one arm under his hips and one under his thighs, and then slide his lower body toward you. Realign his shoulders, hips, and legs.
e. Turning a Patient on His Side. When working alone, always turn the patient toward you. Stand on the side of the bed toward which the patient is to be turned. Flex his knees toward you. Place one hand on his far shoulder and the other on his far hip. Bracing your body against the side of the bed, gently roll the patient toward you. Now go to the opposite side of the bed. Slide your arms under the patient's hips and draw his hips toward you, toward the center of the bed. Flex his upper leg forward on his extended lower leg to prevent him from rolling backward. Check his shoulder alignment. His lower arm should be in front of his chest or extended along his back, but not caught under his body (figure 2-10). Return to the original side of the bed. Arrange the pillow to support his head. Use two additional pillows to support his upper arm and upper leg and to maintain shoulder and hip alignment.
Figure 2-10. Turning a patient on his side.
The Brookside Associates Medical Education Division develops and distributes medical information that may be useful to medical professionals and those in training to become medical professionals. This website is privately-held and not connected to any governmental agency. The views expressed here are those of the authors, and unless otherwise noted, do not necessarily reflect the views of the Brookside Associates, Ltd., or any governmental or private organizations. All writings, discussions, and publications on this website are unclassified.
© 2008 Medical Education Division, Brookside Associates, Ltd. All rights reserved
Other Brookside Products