Whether you are attempting to prepare yourself for your state nursing board licensure test (the NCLEX), or are already a practicing registered nurse (RN), licensed practical nurse (LPN), or a certified nursing assistant (CNA), assisting a patient in sitting on the side of the bed is a skill that is really quite strait-forward and easy, however, it does require some considerations in order to ensure safety.

In a nursing home, where falls and injuries abound, even the slightest movement or attempt to transfer a patient or resident can lead to serious complications, as well as, lost time from tending to the care of other patients because of the monumental amount of paper work that is required to do an incident report. Learning how to safely and effectively assist a client to an upright position on to the side of their is a fundamental skill that is also the building block of more advanced transfer movements and techniques. Without this skill, it would be very difficult to do other transfers.

Things You Will Need

Communication Skills
a Fundamental understanding of Proper Body Mechanics in the Workplace
a Back Brace, if available

Step 1

Firstly, prior to conducting any skill, task or procedure, whether a health care professional be a doctor, registered nurse, licensed practical nurse, or a certified nursing assistant, proper communication with the patient is paramount. While communication is emphasized throughout even the earliest days of nursing school, it is important that you express to your patient or resident what it is that you exactly intend to do.

Your rationale for placing them on the side of their bed could be for a variety of reasons, ranging from feeding time to a required assessment of their lungs. Even still, effective communications is paramount. Regardless of what their current status or condition is, all effort should be made to let a patient know what exactly will be done with them, especially if you are to come into their close personal space to the extent of needed touch in order to complete this task.

Step 2

Secondly, raising the head of a patient's bed can be a quick way to do a significant amount of work for you already. This will help to put their spine in alignment while aiding them to a bit of a sitting position already.

Step 3

With adherence to proper body mechanics, the nurse should place one of his or her hands under the client's shouldered, rested comfortably withen the crevice of their arm pit.

Step 4

The nurse must convey to the patient that they should drive their elbows into the bed in order to help assist them, and the nurse, in their movement. By doing this, you are providing your patient with an opportunity to work to achieve a sitting position. You shouldn't do all the work for them, and it can really be empowering when you allow your resident to become actively involved in this task, or any task for that matter. This is the type of participation that we should definitely encourage more of in nursing.

Step 5

It is now important for the health care professional to simultaneously lift the resident's shoulders up, and swing their patient's legs over the side of the bed successfully to a sitting position.

While really quite simple in nature and execution, assisting a patient from a laying position, to sitting on the side of their bed, is a fundamental task that will serve as a building block to more advanced transfer skills.

Tips & Warnings

As with any patient movement conducted, adherence to safety is paramount. Ensuring proper mechanics is one way to achieve this.

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