Fundamentals Question #48

Question

After receiving hand-off communication the nurse finds a client supine with the head of the bed elevated to 90 degrees. What position is this client in?

Answers

  1. High Fowler
    • This answer is correct because the range that is officially high-Fowler’s position is generally at least 60 degrees up to 90 degrees. High-Fowler’s position is a position when the client needs to have the head of the bed at the highest position, to facilitate breathing, reduce edema, or drainage generally. The maximum elevation is 90 degrees and is when the client is supine (flat on their back) and the upper body is raised to a 90 degree angle compared to the lower half of the body.

  2. Semi-Fowler
    • This answer is not correct because the range that is officially high-Fowler’s position is generally at least 60 degrees up to 90 degrees. Semi-Fowler’s is 30 degrees to 45 degrees and low-Fowler’s is when the head is slightly elevated. High-Fowler’s position is a position when the client needs to have the head of the bed at the highest position, to facilitate breathing, reduce edema, or drainage generally. The maximum elevation is 90 degrees and is when the client is supine (flat on their back) and the upper body is raised to a 90 degree angle compared to the lower half of the body.

  3. Trendelenburg
    • This answer is not correct because Trendelenburg is a position described as when a client is flat (supine) but the bed is tilted where the head is below the level of the feet. High-Fowler’s position is a position when the client needs to have the head of the bed at the highest position, to facilitate breathing, reduce edema, or drainage generally. The maximum elevation is 90 degrees and is when the client is supine (flat on their back) and the upper body is raised to a 90 degree angle compared to the lower half of the body.

  4. Tripod position
    • This answer is not correct because the tripod position is when a client is leaning forward and generally over on a table or with their hands or on their knees. This position is usually assumed when a client is in respiratory distress. High-Fowler’s position is a position when the client needs to have the head of the bed at the highest position, to facilitate breathing, reduce edema, or drainage generally. The maximum elevation is 90 degrees and is when the client is supine (flat on their back) and the upper body is raised to a 90 degree angle compared to the lower half of the body.

Overview

High-Fowler position is a position when the client needs to have the head of the bed at the highest position. If a client’s head of the bed is at the maximum elevation (90 degrees), it is said to be in high-Fowler’s position.

Learning Outcomes

High-Fowler’s position is a position when the client needs to have the head of the bed at the highest position, to facilitate breathing, reduce edema, or drainage generally. The maximum elevation is 90 degrees and is when the client is supine (flat on their back) and the upper body is raised to a 90 degree angle compared to the lower half of the body. The range that is officially high-Fowler’s position is generally at least 60 degrees up to 90 degrees. Semi-Fowler’s is 30 degrees to 45 degrees and low-Fowler’s is when the head is slightly elevated.

Test Taking Tip

A way to remember Fowler’s positions is think “Fowler 45”.

  • Low-Fowler’s: <15 degrees
  • Semi Fowler’s: 30-45 degrees
  • Fowler’s: 45 degrees
  • High Fowler’s: “higher than 45” or 60-90 degrees

So, <15, 30-45, “higher than” or 60-90.