The nurse is caring for a client who just returned from a total hip arthroplasty. A student nurse is helping provide care for this client. Which action by the student nurse requires intervention by the nurse?

  1. The student nurse floats the client’s heels with a pillow.
  2. The student nurse positions the client with the legs adducted.
  3. The student nurse applies the sequential compression device (SCD) per orders.
  4. The student nurse encourages deep breathing and incentive spirometer use every 2 hours.
Number 2 is correct.
Rationale: The client should be positioned with the legs abducted using a pillow or splint. Floating the client’s heels is appropriate to prevent skin breakdown. Application of SCDs reduces the risk of venous thromboembolism. Deep breathing and incentive spirometer use help prevent respiratory complications.