How to Position a Patient on One Side

Turning the patient on one side at the bed, is also one of the critical tasks of certified nursing assistants, which they might have to perform on a daily basis. A CNA has to set the patient on one side for conducting various clinical activities, like while putting a bedpan under the patient’s bump, replacing the bed sheets of a patient, evaluating the client’s weight on the bed, etc.

To roll the ailing person on one of the side position of the bed, you must be familiar of a proper process to perform this activity.

Points To Remember

  • Prior starting this positioning activity of the patient on one side, you have to rinse out your hands appropriately.
  • Before conducting any such activity, make sure you wear a pair of new hand gloves.
  • Exchange greetings with the patient graciously.
  • Put in simple words that you are going to assist him/her to getting on one of his/her side.
  • Make sure you keep a direct contact with the client and speak clearly in a slow pace.
  • Do not forget to bring along the necessary belongings with you for this activity.

Stepwise procedures to track for doing the correct positioning of the Patient on one side:

Step 1- Knock on the door
In case of conscious patients, it is vital to ask for their permission every time, you enter the patient’s room.

Step 2- Keep their privacy
Preserve their privacy by drawing the curtains of the rooms properly to block the outside’s view.

Step 3- Even the bed level
Now, you have to bring the level of the bed in an even position.

Step 4- Place the Restraint Assist Bar at one side
Before, drawing the patient at one side, be sure of putting the restrain assist bar that side. Now, hold the draw sheet and pull the patient nearer to the restrain bar side to avoid the falling down.

Step 5- Set the patient’s body positions on the bed
Pull the patient near to the opposite side of the position, where he/she has to be turned over by holding the draw sheet of the bed. This prevents the patients from declining down the bed.

Now, bring the patient in the centre, keep his/her body in slightly raised position. While, doing this, the patient’s face should be where he has to be turned.

Step 6- Get the patient hold the side rail
You may also suggest the ailing person to grip the side rails of the pateint’s bed, when he/she is getting turned over to the other side. This provides the client stability on the bed if the patient is physically capable of holding that.

Step 7- Place the pillows correctly
It is extremely vital to support the backside of the ailing person by placing a pillow behind his back on the draw sheet. You also have to keep the pillow in between the knees and below the buttocks of the patient. This make the body positions of the client extremely relaxing on the bed. You should also ask the patient if he/she requires a pillow under the arms. If yes, then you must also provide a pillow below the arm of the ailing person.

Step 8- Check the support from each side
Give proper support to the patient from every required side and also, check if the patient is comfortable form every side or not. To provide rest under the foot of the patient, you can ask and place the folded linen under his/her foot, as well.

Step 9- Cover the patient 
You must cover the patient properly with the blanket or a linen sheet, before leaving the room.

Step 10- Adjust the bed level
Make sure, you have set the bed at the accurate level for the patient’s convenience.

Step 11- Give the calling button
Now, keep the calling button within the reach of the patient.

Step 12- Dispose the Gloves
After, the process is over; you must take off your gloves and keep it to dispose in a receptacle.

Step 13- Wash hands
Rinse your hands properly; after the entire activity is finished.

What does the auditor perceives when you carry out this skill?

We are giving some essential tips that can help you know about what an auditor notices when you execute this skill:

1. Do you conduct the initial steps of the process properly?
Tip- A proper beginning of any process is also the key to a perfect ending. Thus, do remember to perform the initial essentials of the process appropriately.

2. Do you enclose the side rails of the bed on the unprotected side? 
Tip- Before, doing any movement of the patient’s body, most importantly; raise the side rails of patient’s bed, if applicable.

3. Do you assist the patient carefully to get one of the sides or in the middle of the bed?
Tip- You must assist the patient cautiously, while turning at one of the sides or in the centre, but make sure you do not entirely bring the body on the edges of the bed.

4. What are the different places of the patient’s body, where you must use the pillows to give the right support?
Tip- You must provide the suitable support to the patients, wherever they ask or is applicable. The major places are:

  • Beneath the head of the patient
  • At the patient’s back
  • In the middle of the legs
  • Under the patient’s arms

5. Do you check after positioning, whether the client is comfortable with the positioning done, or the body alignment?
TipMake certain, that even after the positioning done, the client must be comfortable with the new body alignment.

6. Do you conduct the things correctly, which you need to do in the end?
Tip- Make sure, you conclude this positioning procedure with all the necessary steps, which you must do towards the end, accurately.

Expert’s Tips:

  • Always remember, every-time you set the patient’s body position on the bed to one of the sides or for any other body movements, specially, in case of non-ambulatory patients; this has been proved out to be tremendously useful for them.
  • After, becoming a certified nursing assistant in a nursing facility, you must do the repositioning of the patient a number of times in a day, after taking the permission from the nurse in charge.
  • Make sure, you do the regular body movements process of the patient, as it averts the blood clotting in some of areas of the body and saves the patient from a lot of ache and unsafe bedsores.
  • By memorizing and following the above mentioned steps, you can make the turning activity extremely comfortable for the patient.

Video Demonstration

The video given here will assist you to observe and remind the steps properly, while performing this skill to position a patient on one side. This will also guide you to recognize what are the correct procedures, an examiner notices during the skill demonstration in the CNA exam.