Repositioning a Patient
You may feel helpless when your loved one is bed-bound and has limited ability to adjust their own position. Yet there are ways to can help keep them comfortable and reduce the risk of bed sores and other complications from being bedridden.
Pillows, rolls, and blankets are useful tools to help position the patient while providing comfort and maintaining safety.
It is common for patients to slip down the bed or lean in an uncomfortable sideways position.
To reposition a patient leaning- use pillows to prop them upright on the side they are leaning. Be sure that nothing is under them like balled up bedwear that would cause discomfort when their position changes.
To position a patient who has slipped down the bed from a sitting position it is best to use two people to avoid injury. Do not attempt if patient cannot assist, and you do not have two people.
To do this you must have room to maneuver, and it is best to have a hospital bed so that you can move it away from the wall and lower it down to knee level. Place your knee on the bed near the patient’s shoulders with one foot on the floor. Explain to the patient what will happen and how the patient can help. Using the draw sheet under the patient, have the patient lift their knees up with feet flat on the bed. At the count of three, pull the draw sheet up towards the head of the bed while the patient to pushes with their feet and raise their head if possible. If you are doing this with another person, you both must do this at the same time. To avoid injury, pull back with your body not your arms.
When making the bed, make sure you have the draw sheet on the bed so that this technique can be used to reposition the patient.
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