Ambulating with a Gait Belt

Care Plan: Assist a resident to stand and walk approximately 10 feet using a transfer/gait belt. The resident needs some assistance to stand. The resident will be seated in a chair upon beginning this skill and will be returned to the chair after walking.


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Click on each question to view the answer…

How far do I have to walk the patient?

As far as the care plan directs you to.  For the exam, the care plan will direct you to walk the patient at least 10 feet.

Do I have to actually say that they have shoes on?

Yes. Since shoes are an important aspect of safety, the evaluator needs to know that you are aware of the need for shoes.  The patient will already have shoes on for this skill, but you have to verbally acknowledge that they are wearing shoes.

What if the patient doesn't have shoes?

For the exam, the patient will be wearing shoes. In a clinical setting, if the patient does not have shoes you will alert the nurse of the need for shoes. Most patients in a clinical setting will have shoes available.

Do I have to return the patient to the chair?

For the exam, you will return the patient to the chair that the patient was sitting in at the beginning of the skill. In a clinical setting, you will ask the patient where they would like to sit at the end of the skill.

I've never seen a gait belt used before. Do they really use these in clinical settings?

Gait belt should be used anytime there is a possibility that a patient may fall during ambulation. Since most patients have the ability to fall at any time due to disease process, weakness, medications or physical limitations, all CNA’s should use a gait belt when ambulating any patient to reduce the risk of injury due to falls.

What if the patient refuses to wear the gait belt?

Any time a patient refuses any portion of the skill, the CNA should notify the nurse. However, if the CNA is diligent in explaining why the gait belt is used and how it will be use during the skill, patients generally will comply with gait belt use.  Patients generally refuse care when they do not understand some aspect of their care.

How do I describe the gait belt?

A gait belt is used to assist a patient and standing and provide stability when the patient is walking. If the patient becomes weak, the gait belt can be used to safely lower then to the ground minimizing the risk of injury.

Why would we close the curtain if we are going to be walking with the resident?

When you begin this skill, the patient will be sitting in a chair at the side of the bed. You must protect the patient’s privacy at all times during each skill. Because we will be assisting the patient into a standing position, they may not be dressed completely.