The nurse is caring for a patient after undergoing a laminectomy. In regards to patient activity and positioning, the nurse should:

Teach the patient to avoid using the handrails for repositioning.
Turn the patient every two hours using the logrolling technique.

Explanation

• Using the logrolling technique promotes body alignment and avoids twisting of the spine.

• The patient should be taught to avoid using the side rails for positioning. Pulling on the side rails puts increases risk of misalignment of the vertebral column.

• The head of the bed should be flat or elevated slightly to minimize stress on the surgical site. High fowler's position (sitting upright at a 90 degree angle) should be avoided immediately following surgery.

• Mobility is prescribed by the physician. Typically, the patient will need to lay supine for up to a few hours after surgery, but may usually sit on the edge of the bed the evening after surgery and ambulate within 48 hours.

• A pillow should not be placed behind the patient's back because it may place stress on the surgical site. A small pillow may be used under the head or neck.

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