Students Pre-Nursing


ok nurses and nurses to be head forward or backwards my mother thinks the old fashion way is the right way which is holding the head back. i of course think that's wrong and that old fashion traditions are not always the right way,any thoughts concerns


370 Posts

Specializes in Oncology/Hematology.

I worked at an Elementary School for a good 3 or 4 years, and we were always told to absolutely NOT tilt the head back. This allows the blood to run back into the person's throat and may lead to choking, coughing, or even vomiting.

Although this makes complete sense to me and I agree with it 100%, it's still hard to see a kid with a bloody nose and not think 'tilt your head back!' :) But I'm breaking the habit

AirforceRN, RN

611 Posts

I'm pretty sure the only reason to put your head back is to prevent blood from soiling your face and makes the observer or first aider feel better. In the end though, you're going to barf it back up anyway...

Head forward.

Colleen2014, RN

160 Posts

well my daughter has been having nose bleeds all day today and my mom thinks that she has been loosing too much blood for her being 3 she stills stands strong by her tilt the head back theory. you knows mommy knows best in her eyes well grandmas lol

Specializes in Emergency Department.

My daughter gets frequent nosebleeds and instinctively puts her head back while going for the tissue so I think she just doesn't want to get bloody ;)


24 Posts

As an EMT, we were taught to have the patient position the head in a sniffing position (like you are slightly sniffing a flower). It allows for a little head tilt but not all the way back. Pinch the bridge of the nose until the bleeding stops. Ice compress also helps on the bridge of the nose although it is uncomfortable for children.

Colleen2014, RN

160 Posts

I asked my friend who is in the nursing program who graduates in dec and she is saying your suppose to hold the head back so i dont even know. Is this something that is taught in nursing school?

AirforceRN, RN

611 Posts

Just think about the physiology and anatomy that goes into play here for a second...There are two different scenarios...


What's going to happen if you tilt your head back? Is there anything going on there that will help stop the nosebleed? No. Your nose is still going to bleed. Where is that blood going to go? There are two holes there, either your trachea (which is unlikely as you would cough and gag) or your esophagus. What happens when you swallow a bunch of blood? You vomit. a bad nosebleed you tilt your head end up barfing (which may make the nosebleed worse) or at the very least you end up with a bunch of blood in your stomach.

2) You tilt your head forward. Again, is there anything there that will help stop the nose bleed? No, not really. Where is that blood going to go? There are two holes, the left nare or the right nare. Its going to go onto the floor...or your clothes. But at least you aren't going to injest it.

I'd say tilting your head forward is the better of two evils.

+ Add a Comment

By using the site, you agree with our Policies. X