The Lateral Position. In the lateral position, the patient is made to lie on his
side (figure 1-49). For most X-rays, patients are customarily placed in the left lateral
position. To help the patient assume this position, follow the steps out lined below.
Figure 1-49. The left lateral position.
STEPS TO ASSIST THE PATIENT TO ASSUME LATERAL POSITION
1. Slide patient to side of the table to which back will be turned.
2. Abduct left arm (bring it away) from shoulder.
3. Flex right leg at knee and hip.
4. Bring right arm forward and across chest.
5. From left side of patient:
a. Grasp behind shoulders and pelvis.
b. Roll patient up, lean backwards and press thighs and knees against table.
6. Ensure that patient is in a good lateral recumbent (lying down) position.
a. Head, neck, and back are in straight line.
b. Patent is not lying on left arm.
c. Spinal column is parallel to tabletop.