How To Reposition A Patient In Bed? 5 Easy Steps To Follow!

If you are taking care of someone at home.

You need to know how to reposition a patient in bed as well as other caregiving techniques.

how to reposition a patient in bed

When the patient is lying in one position only, it may lead to pressure injuries, so it is important to learn how to reposition them.

It is also helpful when you need to make the bed, change the bandage, or assist a bedpan.

Repositioning a patient is also helpful for patients with breathing problems brought about by some conditions such as fibrosis, pneumonia, and COPD.


Getting Started

It would help if you first told the patient that you are about to adjust their position.

Even if the patient is unconscious, still announce to them your intention of moving them.

You also need to ensure the privacy of the patient by closing the curtains or doors.

This is to protect the dignity of your loved one.

Do this even if the patient is not conscious or awake.

You must also remove all items that can get in your way and those that might get damaged, such as eyeglasses, pillows, blankets, wires, tubes, books, etc.


Repositioning A Patient In Bed With Mobility

If the patient you are taking care of has mobility, it will be easier to reposition them.

Ask the patient to move to the side of the bed and go to the side where he will be rolling.

Then, tell him to lie on his back while his arms are folded and knees bent across the body.

Help him as he is rolling towards you.

In guiding them, place your hand on their hips and shoulders.


Steps To Reposition A Patient In Bed With No Mobility

It is good to elevate the patient’s head about 30 degrees so that he will be in an inclined position as you reposition him.

The process can be difficult, but you can get it done.

Just follow the steps below on how to reposition a patient in bed.


Step #1. Letting the patient know about the move

You need to explain to your loved one what you are about to do so that the patient knows the things to expect.

Also, try to encourage him to help you with the repositioning process in the best way he can.


Step #2. Get in the side of the bed

It would help if you positioned on the bedside where the patient will turn to lower the bed rail on this side.

Have the patient looking towards as this is the direction that he will be turning to.


Step #3. Getting the patient ready

Move him to the middle of the bed to avoid the patient’s risks rolling out of his bed.

Position the patient carefully for the move with his bottom arm stretching towards you.

The top arm of the patient must also be placed across his chest.

Then, cross the upper ankle of the patient over his bottom ankle.

Take note that if the patient is turning onto his stomach, ensure that his bottom hand is over his head first.


Step #4. Adjusting the bed

The bed must be at a level that back strain will be reduced for you, so adjust the bed accordingly.

It would help if you also made his bed flat.


Step #5. Turning the patient

Be near to the patient – the closest possible.

Then place one hand onto the shoulder of the patient and another hand on his hip.

You should stand with one foot forward.

Your weight must be shifted on the foot in from as you are pulling the shoulder of the patient gently towards you.

Then, your weight must be shifted to the back foot as you are pulling the patient’s hip gently toward you.

Repeat this step if necessary until the patient is moved into the right position.


Completing The Task

If you already moved the patient to his new position, you can use pillows to be provided with extra support and comfort.

If the patient is positioned on his side, place a pillow in from of him with his arms wrapped around the pillow for added support.

You might as well add a pillow on his back to prevent him from rolling backward.

Also, add a pillow in between his bent knee to make him more comfortable.

Add another pillow below the bottom ankle.

Also, ensure that the shoulders of the patient are positioned comfortably.

It must not be turned back underneath his body.

If the patient is lying on their back, you should place a pillow below his legs in between his ankles and knees.

His heels must be resting on the bed.

If his bed can be adjusted, you should keep its angle below 30 degrees.

This is to ensure that the patient won’t be sliding down.

Once the patient is already comfortable, you need to cover him again with his blanket.


It’s A Wrap!

This task seems to be intimidating at first.

But when you already know how to reposition a patient in bed, the task can be a great routine in adding comfort to the patient.

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