Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario

Repositioning in Bed

  • Avoid positioning the person on existing pressure injuries or on bony prominences.
  • Use positioning devices such as a pillow or a wedge to maintain position and body alignment, and to redistribute pressure to avoid bony prominences.
  • Use assistive devices (e.g., bed rails, trapeze, transfer board, etc.) to enable the person to reposition and transfer himself/herself independently.
  • If the person’s medical condition permits, limit the amount of time the head of the bed is elevated and limit the elevation to 30 degrees (Semi-Fowler’s position); ensure the person is positioned in the Semi-Fowler’s position to prevent sliding.
Clinical Management
Assessment and Management of Pressure Injuries for the Interprofessional Team, Third Edition
Point of Care Resources