When someone is on your operating table, they must know they can trust you wholeheartedly. Proper positioning is the key to ensuring your patient is well-taken care of before, during, and after procedures. Help your patients feel comfortable and secure in your treatment with this overview of how to determine the best patient position for procedures.

Why It’s Important

When a patient is resting properly through a procedure, you can better maintain their overall homeostasis. They are less likely to have a blocked airway, and the risk of skin or joint injuries decreases. No to mention, it also preserves decency, so they won’t feel embarrassed in any way. Remember that someone on your operating table is in a vulnerable position, especially if they’re under anesthesia. You want to ensure they feel secure considering they are entirely in your care.

Before the Procedure

The first step in how to determine the best patient position for procedures is with a pre-operation assessment. This evaluation is vital to the operation and your patient’s safety. Make sure you’re aware of any risks there may occur during the surgery. Age, height, weight, and preexisting conditions are all factors that affect positioning. Be sure to also consider the length of the procedure and where your surgeons, anesthesiologists, and other healthcare providers are going to be in the room. It’s also vital to have the best equipment. A c-arm pain management table, for example, optimizes imaging equipment and shortens procedure times, providing less strain for patients and healthcare providers. The right equipment ensures the best experience for everyone in the operating room.

Choosing a Position

When choosing the best position for your patient, there’s a lot to keep in mind. The four basic positions—supine, lateral, lithotomy, and prone—each has benefits, complications, and variations. Consider the type of procedure that will take place so you can figure out optimized access for monitors, IVs, and other necessary devices. If your patient has preexisting issues, such as heart or respiratory problems, joint pain, or skin abrasions, consider how these will affect the way you position them. Take note of the pressure points for each different position and note where your patient is experiencing the most impact. Prepare accordingly, and keep in mind that you might have to reposition the patient, especially if they’re at higher risk of complications or injury.

Providing the best care for your patient starts with making sure they are safe and comfortable throughout their procedure. When you can accomplish this, there will likely be fewer injuries and complications. Operations are smoother and recovery is easier, and patients and their caregivers will have a better experience.

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