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Moving Patients

Moving patients

Using a Drawsheet for moving patients.

Earlier, we covered with caregivers a way to save their backs when turning a patient in bed by using a drawsheet. Moving patients up in the bed is another maneuver caregivers can accomplish by using a drawsheet to do the lifting and saving your back.

Often a mattress and patient will slip down in bed to an uncomfortable position. This will most often happen in a bed which elevates the top or pillow section.

Check the mattress to see if the mattress has slipped down. Lower the head rail to a level position and move it up on the frame before repositioning the patient on the mattress. You may need a helper on the other side of the bed to grab the mattress handles on that side while you do the same on your side. Count to three and then slide the mattress up slowly at the same time. Put the railing back up when you have finished.

Steps to move the patient up in bed

  • When moving patients to the head of the bed, lower the railing. Pull the pillow upright to keep the patient’s head from touching the headboard. Tell the patient to reach back and grasp the bars at the head of the bed and bend his knees. You should slide one arm under the patient’s shoulders and the other arm under his buttocks on signal. Ask the patient to pull with his arms and push with his heels while you slide him upward. The patient will use that push to lift his buttocks and place himself nearer the head of the bed.
  • When the patient cannot assist, ask a helper to stand on the opposite side of the bed. Both of you will slide your arms under the patient and, in unison, you will both shift your weight and slide the patient up slowly.
  • If the patient is unable to lift himself or move without help, then a drawsheet is helpful. Moving patients up on the mattress to the top is much easier using a drawsheet. A drawsheet is an ordinary flat sheet that is positioned under the patient extending from the shoulders to the knees. It extends across the bed under the patient. The drawsheet method can help reduce strain on your back.
  • When moving patients ask your helper to stand on the opposite side of the bed. Both of you will grasp the corners of the drawsheet and slide the sheet and the patient up to the head of the bed slowly. Smooth the draw sheet and the other bed linens and put the railing back up on the sides of the bed.

Caregivers can find a way to do the most amazing things to help their loved ones!

See some other helpful instructions at: “Pulling a Patient Up in Bed”

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