While caring for an alert patient in Buck's traction, the nurse reduces friction and shear by:
• Buck's traction provides longitudinal pressure with the purpose of immobilizing, positioning, and aligning the lower extremity.
• With Buck's traction, the foot of the bed should be slightly elevated to aid in counter traction and reduce shear and friction.
• Since this patient is alert, providing a trapeze and footboard reduces friction and shear on the skin by facilitating independent movement and allowing the patient to lift the pelvis to reposition with the trapeze and the unaffected leg.
• Elevating the head of bed would increase friction and shear.
• Repositioning every two hours would not limit friction and shear, but should be done within the limits of the traction device to limit pressure on the skin.
• Using a positioning boot will help prevent foot drop, but will not reduce friction and shear to the skin.