Making sure patients are positioned for surgery with safety in mind is a critical part of any procedure. Issues with positioning can make a straightforward surgery much more difficult to perform and could also cause pressure injuries, which negatively impact outcomes and might lead to hospitalizations for additional care. “The goal is always to protect the patient from harm,” says David Meyer, BSN, RN, CNOR, an OR staff nurse at Virtua Voorhees (N.J.) Hospital. “Proper positioning during surgery prevents skin breakdown on patients who are unable to protect themselves.”
Even if your facility currently has low rates of pressure injuries, there’s always room for improvement and several strategies can strengthen patient positioning practices.