Challenges Associated With Repositioning Your Patients

As a healthcare professional, you know that repositioning your patients can, at times, be difficult and outright frustrating. This practice, as “easy” as it may seem, sometimes is the cause of: Back injuries, Patient discomfort, and even legal action.

There are many products on the market that claim to address the challenges related to patient positioning, ranging from standard pillows to aggressive specialty beds and surfaces. The costs associated with these products can range from a few dollars to thousands of dollars.

The right product, utilized at the right time, for the right condition is an absolute must to ensure cost effectiveness and good outcomes for your patients. The cost or investment in a product must always be compared to the outcome it delivers. As an example, you would not dispense aspirin to a patient who requires a stronger medication like morphine. Although the cost of aspirin is far less than morphine, it cannot deliver the expected results for that patient’s condition, thus the investment or cost of aspirin would be of little or no value.

If a product does not provide a true benefit to your patient, it is of little or no value!

The same is true for patient positioning devices. On the lowest end of the spectrum is the standard pillow.
It may certainly be the lowest cost product available, but does it provide a benefit to you and your patients?
Does it offer value? It is certainly simple and easy to use, but…

How many times during your shift does the pillow (or blanket) slip out which causes you to constantly place it back into position and risk injury to yourself or your patient?
Once it’s in position, can it keep your patient turned up to or over 40-degrees laterally?
How does it provide your patient an effective and controlled angle of turn required for proper pulmonary drainage?
Does it offer any therapeutic benefits like minimizing pressure on your patients skin?

Let’s cover the other end of the spectrum of positioning devices and products…specialty beds and surfaces.
These products certainly have their place in the market and usually provide positive outcomes for your patients. Positive outcomes are delivered at a much higher cost and with more complexity.

Simplicity and ease of use are sometimes absent with these products.They usually require hands on in-servicing to ensure all features are used correctly. Sometimes certain features are not utilized because of a lack of understanding or a sense of uneasiness with their use.

Specialty beds and surfaces certainly provide aggressive therapy compared to standard pillows. But again, they may not necessarily be the right product, utilized at the right time, for the right condition for you and your patient.