As a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) it is crucial to have the skill of moving and positioning patients to ensure effective care. Patient positioning goes beyond arranging pillows: it is an aspect of comprehensive patient support. By positioning patients CNAs contribute to maintaining the integrity of their skin preventing issues promoting comfort and facilitating various medical procedures. Mastering this skill allows CNAs to play a role in promoting the well being of patients and optimizing their recovery.

What is needed to move a patient

Before starting the process of moving and positioning a patient make sure you have all the necessary supplies readily available. These supplies may include:

Pillows, bed linens, a drawsheet, a sliding board, a transfer belt and any assistive devices prescribed for the patient’s mobility. Organizing everything beforehand ensures progress throughout the process while prioritizing safety.

Giving Priority to Patient Communication and Comfort

It’s vital to establish communication with the patient before initiating any movement or positioning. Take the time to explain the procedure, address any concerns they may have and seek their cooperation. Ensuring that patients feel comfortable and safe both physically and emotionally is crucial in providing patient centered care.

Step by Step Guide for Patient Movement and Positioning

  1. Assessing the Patient: Before proceeding carefully evaluate the patient’s condition, mobility level and any potential contraindications. It’s important to identify any risks or complications.
  1. Gathering a Team (if required): Depending on factors such as the patients size, mobility level and the specific procedure involved you may need assistance from another healthcare professional.
  1. Explaining the Procedure to the Patient: Make sure you provide explanations to the patient regarding what movements or positions are planned. Address any concerns they might have and actively encourage their participation.
  1. Preparing the Environment: Prioritize clearing obstacles around the bed that could hinder movement. Ensure that bed brakes are engaged if applicable and keep devices within reach.
  1. Using Body Mechanics: Maintain a stance with a wide base of support while bending at your knees and hips instead of your waist: keep your back straight throughout. By adhering to body mechanics techniques you can prevent strain or injury for both yourself as well as for your patients.
  1. Assisting with Adjusting Position in Bed: To help the patient change position gently. Provide assistance as necessary. Make sure the patient’s head, shoulders and hips move together to avoid any twisting.
  1. Transferring to the Bed Edge: If the patient needs to sit at the edge of the bed assist them in a controlled manner. If instructed, use a transfer belt for added support.
  1. Utilizing a Sliding Board (if applicable): For patients with mobility a sliding board can facilitate controlled transfers. Place the board beneath the patient. Assist them in moving from one surface to another.
  1. Assisting with Sitting or Standing Transfers: When transferring the patient to a chair or another surface ensure alignment. Utilize assistive devices as necessary. Keep an eye on the patient for any signs of dizziness or discomfort.

Maintaining Skin Health and Comfort

Throughout the process of movement and positioning it’s crucial to pay attention to the condition of the patient’s skin. By dragging them, lift them gently to prevent friction and shear forces that may lead to pressure ulcers. Use. Padding in areas where bony parts are more prominent to provide support and prevent pressure points.

Reporting and Observing

Accurate documentation plays a role here. Make sure you record details such as date, time, well as specific information, about each movement or positioning procedure.

Make sure to record any observations, the patient’s response and any concerns that arise during the process.

Ensuring Infection Control

Maintaining infection control protocols is crucial. Properly washing your hands and wearing gloves help prevent the spread of germs keeping both you and the patient safe.

When dealing with patients who have conditions, injuries or limited mobility it’s important to tailor your approach to their movement and positioning. Always prioritize their safety, comfort. Follow the recommendations of the healthcare team.

Promoting Patient Autonomy and Dignity

Encourage patients to participate in their movement and positioning whenever possible. This not only helps maintain their dignity but also contributes to their well being.


In conclusion mastering the skill of moving and positioning patients is an aspect of providing care as a CNA. By following these guidelines you’ll feel confident and skilled, in executing patient movement and positioning. Your attention to detail, communication skills and patient centered care exemplify the values that define healthcare professionals. Excelling in moving and positioning patients does not enhance your caregiving abilities. Also contributes to a holistic approach to patient care. Always keep in mind that your commitment to ensuring patient comfort and safety plays a role in their healing process.