POSITIONING THE PATIENT
Physical comfort is very important to a human being. This is especially
applicable to a bed patient. Both the patient and nursing service personnel need
physical comfort as they respectively recuperate or perform nursing care. Since
enlisted nursing personnel come in contact with the patient more than other medical
personnel, they should employ procedures which will ensure the comfort, safety, and
well being of the patient. In addition, they should consider their own physical comfort.
Only those techniques which reduce or prevent undue strain on the muscles should be
used when lifting or moving patients. The benefits of proper body mechanics and good
posture include the efficient use of muscles, promotion of normal body functions,
avoidance of strain and fatigue, and prevention of deformity.
2-2. BODY POSTURE AND BODY MECHANICS
Through the knowledge of the correct application of their own muscles, medical
nursing personnel can instruct patients on how to use theirs. The combination of good
posture and body mechanics benefits both medical personnel and the patients.
a. Posture. Posture is body alignment. It refers to the relative positions of the
body when lying down, standing, sitting, or any other activity. Posture determines the
stress and the strain on muscles and the distribution of weight. It affects the pressure
on many of the organs of the body. Posture also affects such important functions of the
body as circulation, respiration, and digestion as well as actions of the joints. To attain
good posture, which requires the least strain to maintain, the following respective
positions should be practiced.
(1) In a standing position, the back should be straight; feet firmly on the
ground, about 4 to 6 inches apart to give an adequate base of support, with the toes
pointing straight ahead or slightly toed out; head and rib cage held high; chin, abdomen,
and buttocks pulled in; and knees slightly bent (figure 2-1).
(2) In a sitting position, the back should be straight, with the weight resting
equally on the buttocks and under surface of the thigh, but not on the base of the spine