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CNA Skill: Positioning Patient on Side

A majority of patients/residents that you will work with when you become a certified nursing assistant will be required to be turned every two hours.  There will be certain circumstances where patients/residents will be required to be turned more often.  CNAs need to plan the move and know what they can and cannot do. 

Turning patients/residents stimulates circulation, prevents bed sores and contractures and provides comfort.  Proper body mechanics are necessary to prevent injury to yourself and to the person who you are turning.

Certified nursing assistants should always explain what they are going to do.  The patient/residents who are able should help if they are able to do so safely. 

Steps to Position Client on Side for the Skills Portion of the State Exam

  • Start by explaining the procedure, Speak clearly and slowly
  • Provide Privacy is by drawing the curtain closed
  • The head of the bed needs to be lowered
  • Raise side rail on side to which the patient/resident will be turned
  • Gently roll patient/resident onto side as one unit towards the raised side rail
  • Places Pillow under head for support
  • make sure that the patient/resident is not lying on the arm
  • Support the top of the arm with a pillow
  • A Pillow should be placed behind back of the head
  • Place a Pillow between knees
  • Put bed in low position
  • Place the Call bell/light device within reach
  • Thoroughly Wash and dry hands