Assist a Resident with a Bedpan

Care Plan: Assist a resident who has asked for a bedpan. For the purposes of testing, the resident is wearing a hospital-type gown and the candidate will pretend the resident is not wearing underpants.


Click on each question below to view the answer…

How often are bedpans used in a clinical setting?

Not often.  Patients that are able to get out of bed will not be using a bedpan.  If a patient can use a bathroom, or a bedside commode, they will use those items for their elimination needs rather than a bedpan.  If a patient is incontinent, they are not aware of their elimination needs and will continuously urinate in small amounts, so a bedpan would be unnecessary.  Patients that are bedbound and continent would use a bedpan.

What if the patient is unable to wipe themselves or remove their clothing?

The CNA will assist the patient with whatever tasks the patient cannot perform on their own.  If the patient cannot remove their clothing, the CNA will have to assist them.  If the patient cannot wipe themselves effectively, they should be turned on to their side and cleaned from front to back using a moist towelette or a wet, soapy washcloth. This will not be an issue for the exam.

Do you have to wash your hands after you remove the first set of gloves?

No.  Since you are not leaving the patient area and will continue to care for the same patient, you will not have to wash your hands after removing the first set of gloves.  If you must leave to care for another patient, then you would wash your hands before leaving the room.  Washing your hands between glove applications is not necessary for the exam, but you may do that if you wish.  You will not be graded on this point, either way.

What if we don't have disposable chux, only reusable ones?

Every facility will have different supplies available for staff to use.  The Policy and Procedure manual will provide clear instructions on how that facility wants things done using the supplies they provide.  If in doubt, always refer to the P&P manual.  However, you may use a reusable chux the same way you use a disposable one, except the chux goes in the dirty linen hamper instead of the trash bin when the bedpan is emptied.  You may also use a towel, plastic bag or any other device that covers and protects the contents of the bedpan.

What if the patient cannot raise their hips?

For the exam, the “patient” should be able to raise their hips, unless the care plan specifically tells you they cannot.  If so, rolling the patient over onto their side, unrolling the chux flat onto the bed, placing the bedpan firmly against the buttocks and holding it in place as the patient rolls back onto the bedpan is an acceptable alternative.  Make sure the chux is lying flat under the patient along the entire width of the bed.

Do I have to dump the bedpan into the toilet?

Yes.  Contents of a bedpan (urine/feces) would normally go into a toilet, so that is where we will empty the bedpan.  These items should not be emptied into the sink.