Author: Patricia Laramee, RN

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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Handwashing CNA Skill

Do you know how to wash your hands the right way? You will be graded on Handwashing at the beginning and end of your first skill. It is important that you work up a good lather and rub with friction for at least 20 seconds. Watch the video to learn the what is considered important when washing your...

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When Do I Put On Gloves?

A lot of students think that you should put your gloves on immediately after washing your hands. But let’s think about this: who are those gloves there to protect? You…or the patient? Who are the gloves for? In reality, gloves are there to protect BOTH you AND the patient! If you put on gloves when you walk into a room, then touch things like the bed, the privacy curtain, the bed controller, etc., your gloves will become contaminated. By touching the patient with those contaminated gloves, especially body openings like eyes, nose, mouth, genitals, incisions, wounds, etc., you are providing...

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Skills Timing

Skills timing is a complex subject. A question I often hear is….how much time do I have to do the clinical skills. And the answer is…it depends! It depends on the skills you get. Some skills are short and will take less time to perform. Others are longer and will require more time. The combination of skills that you are assigned to perform will determine the amount of time you are given. How timing calculations work for the exam The computer will assign you a specific set of skills when you register for the exam. This set of skills will be called a care plan. There will be 3 specific skills on your care plan. When you begin your exam, the Nurse Aide Evaluator (NAE) will give you the care plan and tell you to perform the skills in the order listed. You will then be told how long you have to perform the skills on your care plan. There are 11 sets of skills (specific skills combinations) for the exam. All skills sets will range between 31-40 minutes in allowable time. The testing companies have performed extensive research into how long each skill should take for someone with your level of experience. This information is found in our skills book, on the sidebar on each skills page. This is an generous estimate – it likely won’t take you nearly...

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When do you wash your hands?

Skill: All Question: Are you supposed to wash your hands before touching ANYTHING in the patient’s room? Answer: No. You wash your hands at the beginning of the skill to prevent the spread of germs from you to the patient and you wash your hands at the end of every skill to prevent the spread of germs from the patient to you. The privacy curtain is touched by all healthcare workers, patients, visitors, staff members, and others. It is not clean. Patients will scratch what itches and touch the curtain. They will cough and sneeze and particles will land on the curtain. Vomit, urine, feces, wound drainage and other body fluids can transfer onto the curtain from the gloved hands of caregivers and the ungloved hands of family members. And those curtains are only taken down and physically washed about once (or sometimes twice) a year. Washing your hands before you tell the patient what you are planning on doing and obtaining consent can be construed as intrusive, like you are assuming that they will give consent. By entering the room, identifying the patient by name, introducing yourself by name and title and describing the skill to be done, you are giving the patient the right to consent or decline without being presumptive. After you get consent, close the curtain and wash your hands. That way, you now have clean hands to...

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