Dress the Resident with a Weak Arm

Care Plan: Dress a resident with a weak right arm in a long-sleeve button or snap front shirt, pants and socks. The resident will be lying in bed and is unable to help with dressing.


Click on each question to view the answer…

Will I have to dress every patient I care for?

No.  You will only assist patients with the tasks assigned to you by the care plan.  Patients that can dress themselves will do so.  Those that need minor assistance will receive only the assistance they need to maintain independence.

How will I know which arm is weak?

The care plan will indicate which arm is weak.  You can also ask the patient for confirmation.  You may refer to the care plan as often as you wish during the exam.  It is advisable to double-check the care plan before undressing the torso.

Do I have to ask the manikin what it wants to wear for the test?

Yes, the evaluator will play the voice of the manikin and indicate what outfit you are to use.  You should treat the manikin as if it were a real patient.

What if the patient asks for an outfit that does not match?

The CNA can suggest an alternative, but will always honor the patient’s wishes.  For instance, if the patient requests a striped shirt with plaid shorts, the CNA can suggest a solid top that matches the shorts.  But if the patient insists on the first choice, the CNA should comply with the patient’s wishes.

Do I have to use a privacy blanket even though the privacy curtain is closed?

Yes.  Patients may feel emotionally and physically uncomfortable lying on a bed completely exposed.  It is important to protect the patient’s privacy with both a privacy curtain (which prevents others from seeing the patient) and a privacy blanket (which prevents the patient from becoming cold or feeling exposed).

What if the patient can’t raise their hips?

For the exam, the care plan indicates the patient has a weak arm, nothing else is affected.  Therefore, the patient will be able to cooperate in any way except movement of the affected arm.  In a clinical setting, you can roll the patient from side to side as you pull up the pants over the hips.

Can the head of the bed remain upright at the end of the skill?

Yes, the head of the bed is positioned according to patient preference.  The head of the bed may remain upright at the end of the skill, or be lowered to a position of comfort, based on the patient’s response.  The CNA should ask the patient for their preference during the closing.  The entire bed, if raised for CNA comfort when performing the skill, must be lowered to its lowest position so that if the patient tries to get out of bed, the floor is not farther away than the patient expects it to be, which can result in a fall.

Will the patient remain in bed at the end of the skill?

For the exam, the patient will remain in bed.  In a clinical setting, that will depend on the patient’s planned activities for the day and level of ability.  The care plan and facility routine will provide further direction for that specific patient.