The nurse is caring for a client who just returned from a right mastectomy. Which position does the nurse anticipate for the client?

  1. high Fowler’s with the unaffected arm elevated on a pillow
  2. flat with the client positioned on the affected side or back
  3. semi-Fowler’s with the affected arm supported on a pillow
  4. reverse Trendelenburg’s with the arm on the affected side supported on a pillow
Number 3 is correct.
Rationale: Following a mastectomy, the client should be positioned with the head of the bed at 30 degrees or more, with a pillow supporting the arm on the affected side to allow lymphatic fluid return. The other options describe either incorrect bed positioning or incorrect placement of the pillow.