Nursing, Personal Care Attendant (PCA)

Supine position, Lateral position, Prone position, Fowler's position, Sims position

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Supine position: When the patient is lying flat on their back, this is the Supine position. A pillow support is needed under the head and shoulders, as well as under the arms if swelling of the hands is a problem. Simply raising the forearms and hands to a level higher than the heart will greatly reduce swelling in those extremities. The PCA should also use a firm support under the calves so that there is no pressure on the heels from the mattress.


Lateral position: When a patient is lying on either side, they are in the Lateral position. In this position, the top leg and the top arm are extended out from the body, with pillow supports under the arm, knee, between the legs, and under the bottom foot so that the toes and ankle do not touch the bed. When documenting a lateral position, remember to document whether you placed the client on the right or left side.


Prone position: When a client is lying on their stomach, it is called the Prone position. This is not a comfortable position for many elderly people. Use this position only if the Plan of Care calls for it, and check the client frequently, using a small pillow support under the head and legs.


Fowler's position: When the patient is in a semi-sitting position, they are in Fowler's position. Use pillow supports under the head and the knees. The feet may be flexed and supported by a footboard as well. In a Fowler position, the upper body is raised to a 45-degree angle, halfway between sitting up and lying flat. The body is not raised as high in the semi-Fowler position.


Sims position : When the body is lying on the left side with one leg drawn up, it is known as the Sims position; Supports should be used under the head, the right arm, the protruding knee, and the left foot so that the toes don’t touch the bed.