Author: Patricia Laramee, RN

Measure and Record Respirations

Why can’t you tell the patient you are counting their respirations? When you tell someone that you are counting their respirations, they will become aware of their breathing. This will usually cause them to alter their breathing patterns (either slow down or speed up), and your count won’t be accurate. If you tell the patient that you are taking their vital signs, they will relax and you will get an accurate reading! How long do you have to count respirations? Our care plan for this patient tells us to count for one full minute. You would follow the directions...

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Measure and Record Radial Pulse CNA Skill

Count the pulse for a full 60 seconds! This care plan instructs us to count for one full minute, and that is what we will be graded on! Every patient is different. Each one will have different needs. In some settings, for some patients, you can count for 15 seconds and multiply by 4 (often done in a clinical setting). But for some reason, the RN who has assessed this patient wants us to count for one full minute instead of 15 seconds. Maybe the patient is on a new medication. Maybe they have an irregular heart beat. Maybe...

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Empty Urinary Drainage Bag CNA Skill

Check the Position of the Drainage Bag! The drainage bag should be positioned so that it is hanging from a non-moving part of the bed, above the floor. The bag can NEVER be lifted above the patient’s hips and it should never be allowed to touch the floor. The tubing should be coiled on the bed so that it cannot pose a tripping hazard to those walking by. Infection Control is the key! When emptying the bag, the port cannot touch ANYTHING – not the bed, the floor, the container, the chucks – NOTHING. Proper technique must be used...

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Provide Partial Bedbath and Backrub CNA Skill

Partial Bedbath You may be assigned to give a partial bedbath during the exam. The care plan will specify what you are expected to wash during this skill. This skill will be done on a manikin and the Nurse Aide Evaluator (NAE) will play the voice of the patient. Pay attention to the care plan! The care plan specifies exactly what should be washed when giving this patient a partial bedbath. Since the care plan tells us to only wash one arm, that is exactly what we will do! We do not need to know why we are not...

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Dress Resident with a Weak Arm CNA Skill

Dressing with a Weak Arm When a patient has a weak arm, or limited mobility in one shoulder, dressing the patient can be a challenge. Nurses will explain to the patient that button or snap front shirts will be easier to put on. Pull-over shirts require that you lift both your arms to push them through the armholes, one at a time. But front-closure shirts are easier to put on because they don’t require that BOTH arms extend upwards. Patients will be encouraged to purchase front-closing shirts to make dressing easier and more comfortable. USA First We will use...

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