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Moving a Patient

Cassandra Mills suffered a stroke three months ago that left her paralyzed on her left side and unable to move by herself except for small movements. Cassandra’s caregivers are required to reposition her every two hours to relieve the pressure on her skin and reduce the risk of skin ulcers.

First thing in the morning, Alex, one of the nursing assistants, comes in to Cassandra’s room to reposition her from a supine position. After washing his hands, saying good morning, and giving Cassandra his name, Alex gently turns Cassandra onto her side to a lateral position with her head on a pillow and proper placement of pillows and towels to support her arms and legs.

When Alex returns two hours later, it is time for breakfast, so he repositions Cassandra on her back in Fowler’s position to make eating easier for her. After helping Cassandra with her breakfast, he positions her in a modified side-lying position to lean slightly along her back.

Later it’s time for Cassandra to go to physical therapy, and a wheelchair is necessary. This time, another nursing assistant, Andrea, accompanies Alex. As they work to transfer Cassandra, they explain to her what they are doing every step of the way. They also clearly communicate with each other about what steps they are taking. In addition, Andrea and Alex use good body mechanics to protect their own backs. After Cassandra’s physical therapy, Andrea and Alex reverse the procedure to return her to bed.

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© 2015 by Southwest Adult Basic Education

Project made financially possible through grants from:

Southwest Initiative Foundation, Marshall Community Foundation, Southwest Regional Transition Partners, Southwest Adult Basic Education, Marshall Healthcare Partners