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body positions


supine with head of bed elevated to 30 degrees- prevent regurgitation/aspiration


lies supine with head of bed elevated to 45 degrees- used for procedures such as tube feeding or suctioning, open air ways.


lies supine with head of bed elevated to 90 degrees-promotes lung expansion/treat severe dyspnea.

Supine/Dorsal recumbent

Lies on back with head and shoulder elevated on pillow. Forearms may be placed on pillow or at side. -foot support prevents footdrop and maintains proper alignment.


Lies flat on abdomen with head to one side- promotes drainage from the mouth following throat or oral surgery.

Lateral/ Side-lying

Lying on side with hip and knee flexed- turned regularly to prevent pressure ulcer.

Sims/ Semi-prone

Side-Lying, upper arms and legs flexed- may promote oral drainage, Commonly used for enema administration


Sits in bed with pillow over bed-table- promote chest expansion, treat COPD


Supine; Head lower than feet- used during postural drainage, facilitates venous return.

Reverse Trendelenburg

Supine; Feet lower than head-promotes Gastric emptying and prevents esophageal reflux.

Dorsal Lithotomy

Supine; Legs flexed at knee, hips abducted- Used for pap smears, birthing position


Prone, thighs straight and lower legs flat on bed

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