Testing Tip: Dentures in a Cup?

Testing Tip: Dentures in a Cup?

CNAs are not generally required to take a patient’s dentures out or put them in. This is a safety measure for both the CNA and the patient. Why? Because trying to “pop” dentures from the lower jaw (where they will be held in place by denture paste) causes the CNA to place downward pressure on the lower jaw, which can possibly dislocate the jaw. Patients may also accidentally bite down on the CNAs fingers. Because of these risks, this action should be avoided. If the patient is unable to put their own dentures in or remove their own dentures, their food can be pureed to make it easier to eat without chewing. The nurse and doctor will make this determination, but they will rely on input regarding the patient’s abilities from the other staff members. It is important that you monitor your patients for difficulties in placing and removing their own dentures. For this reason, the scenario for the exam will have the patient sitting in a chair at the side of the bed with their dentures already removed and stored in a cup that the patient will be holding (or may have set on the overbed table). After cleaning the dentures, you will store them in clean water in the denture cup for patient use as they wish. style=”display:inline-block;width:300px;height:250px” data-ad-client=”ca-pub-0507141994722999″ data-ad-slot=”2891204660″>   Share this:Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in...
Testing Tip: Raise the Bed?

Testing Tip: Raise the Bed?

Hospital beds are great! They can be adjusted higher to make it easier for you to do your skills…less bending equals less stress on your back! And you are more than welcome to raise a bed to a comfortable working height if you wish. BUT… IT IS AN AUTOMATIC FAIL IF YOU DO NOT LOWER THE BED AT THE END OF THE SKILL! Why? Well, when you go to bed, your bed stays right where it always is. Home beds don’t move up and down. That means when you wake up, the floor will be right where you left it. Very predictable. But if someone came along during the night and moved that floor about a foot lower than you expect it to be, you can imagine the consequences. Patients in a hospital bed don’t expect the floor to move either. When they try to get out of bed, they may fall and become injured if the floor is not where they left it. And because they are further away from the floor, the fall is further and the injuries much more serious. So, if you raise a bed to a comfortable working height, you MUST lower it back to the lowest position at the end of the skill for safety. But, you don’t HAVE to raise the bed in the first place! Since the majority of our patients in healthcare will not have adjustable beds (think: home care, assisted living, low-income nursing homes, convalescent centers, etc.), in most states it isn’t a requirement of the test to raise the bed, since they are not present in every setting. Since...
Testing Tip: Close the Privacy Curtain For All Skills…Except One!

Testing Tip: Close the Privacy Curtain For All Skills…Except One!

Providing privacy for skills is an essential component of patient care. It may not always make sense to you to close the privacy curtain for certain skills, but it must be done! I often hear questions like, “If we are walking a patient, why are we closing the curtain first?” The answer is…because privacy is important! This simply must be a routine part of patient care – with no judgment required on your part. Otherwise, care is not performed consistently as some CNAs provide privacy for one skill while others do not. So, the rule remains…provide privacy…always.  Except for one skill! Which skill does not require privacy? Feeding a patient. Why? Because eating is a social event and when you isolate a patient by closing a privacy curtain, you may inadvertently cause them to eat less! Most people gather in groups to eat. They will have conversations and interact with others. If someone is alone, they will often turn to TV or a book for their socialization needs. But there is still some social connection that must be present to stimulate the appetite. By closing the privacy curtain, the patient will remain isolated and not eat as well! So, provide privacy for all skills except feeding by closing the privacy curtain. This shows respect and an understanding of the patient’s need to feel secure and retain their dignity as we assist them with their physical needs.     Share this:Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens...
Testing Tip: Basins are “NO SOAP ZONES”

Testing Tip: Basins are “NO SOAP ZONES”

When preparing for bathing a patient, do not add soap to the water in the basin. By adding soap to this water, you lose the ability to use it for rinsing. Place the soap on the washcloth instead. This allows you to wash the appropriate area without affecting your rinse water. In addition, do not place soapy washcloths into the water after use; set used washcloths off to the side. This ensures that all the basin has held is clean water, which simplifies your cleaning process after patient use. Most facilities will use lather-free or “no-rinse” spray cleansers. This type of cleanser will not produce suds. It is still a good idea to rinse any cleaning agent off of the patient’s skin to avoid skin irritations.     Share this:Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new...
Testing Tip: Let the Patient Check the Water!

Testing Tip: Let the Patient Check the Water!

For all washing skills (hand and nail care, foot care, partial bed bath, peri-care, catheter care), you will go fill a basin with water to bring it to the bedside. You will check the water temperature with the inside of your wrist before filling the basin: it should feel warm, not hot and not cold – just warm. But just because YOU think it feels good, doesn’t mean the patient will agree! Why? I’m glad you asked! As people age, they begin to lose the protective layer of fat beneath their skin. This layer of fat also provides insulation. Without this insulation, an older person will perceive temperatures much differently than you do.  Think of it like this: if you go outside in the middle of winter with long pants, boots, mittens and a coat on, the temperature won’t feel quite so bad. Sure, it will be cold, but it’s not unbearable – because you have protective layers on that hold in your body heat and block out the cold. But what if you just had on shorts and a tank top and you were outside in the middle of winter? It is going to feel really, really cold – because you have nothing to hold in your heat and block out the cold.  This is what happens as we age…we begin to lose our protective layers. So cold is going to feel really, really cold. And hot water may feel really, really hot. Since you still have your layers, there is no way for you to understand how the patient is going to feel about a certain temperature...