Why Is The Dorsal Recumbent Position Important? (Definition And Explanation)

What Is Dorsal Recumbent Position?

The word dorsal refers to the posterior (the back or spine). Recumbent refers to the act of lying down or reclining. The patient lays on his or her back with their knees flexed and feet on flat on the surface of the bed.

The knees are pointed toward the ceiling and outward. The arms are lying down alongside the body. This allows the hips to be observed by the medical professional. At times, the patient’s hips, feet, and arms might be strapped into the bed to prevent the body from moving during an operation or surgery.

Dorsal recumbant position is used for several important reasons. This position is also preferred by medical professional to help the patient give birth, perform specific surgeries, install and run IVs, and treating heart and genital issues.

If a patient in this position, the medical profession can more easily examen certain areas of the body. These areas include the following body parts:

– Genitals
– Chest
– Lungs and Heart
– Hips and Pelvis
– Head and Neck
– Chest and Abdomen

Nurses and other medical professionals are advised to keep their eyes on the patient at all times while this position. This is to notice any discomfort the patient might be feeling or to notice any irregularities. This is imperative to the patient’s health.

What Is Supine Position?

The supine position is the  body lying down on the back, head, and shoulders. The legs are lied straight out. As opposed dorsal recumbent position, where the legs are bent and knees pointed straight up in the air with feet flat on the bed. A pillow can be put under the head to elevate the neck.

The is used to examine different parts of body. This position allows the thoracic, peritoneal, and pericardial regions of the body. It can also makes head, neck, and chest more accessible to medical professional. This position is also good for surgery and operations as well.

What Is The Prone Position?

This is when the body lies down chest down and back up. The dorsal side (the posterior) is up in the air. This makes the back, butt, and calves are easily accessible to the doctor. This position is used if the posterior area of the body is the area of interest .

This position has been used for spinal, neck and hip surgeries. The arms lay alongside the body. The head can be elevated on the pillow and turned to the side. Knees should face outward as well.


​These are three primary positions that are really used for patients. Dorsal Recumbent and the supine position both consist lying on the back. While in prone position, you lay on your stomach.

These position make it easier for nurses and medical professionals to observe, examen, and operate on the patient. These are also comfortable positions for the patient.

Medical professionals should keep thier eyes on the patient while in these positions to make sure they are not feeling discomfort.