Nursing, Personal Care Attendant (PCA)

Positioning and its importance

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Positioning and its importance: Immobility causes medical conditions that are difficult to reverse. Clients who are bed bound or chair bound must be re-positioned every two hours at a minimum. Proper positioning helps with comfort, increases circulation, and decreases the potential for immobility complications such as decubitus ulcers (bedsores). Positioning should be natural, without any awkward bends or tilts to the joints. Make sure to use pillows to support and pad any areas that tend to hang or have pressure points that will cause skin breakdown.


Proper positioning: Proper positioning must include support to the head and neck, with shoulders positioned so that the client is not lying on an arm. If the client is on one side, the top arm must be supported. The patient’s back must also be supported so that he/she does not involuntarily roll onto her back. Her top knee must be flexed with support between the legs. The top knee and ankle are also kept in alignment with support pillows.


Positioning varies depending on the client: The specific positions to use will vary from client to client and will depend on their condition or injury, the Plan of Care, and the client’s own preferences. The PCA should always keep the principles of body mechanics and alignment in mind.