CNA Skill: Dressing a dependent patient

Sometimes a patient has a health condition that makes it difficult or even impossible for them to dress on their own.  This is often true for individuals who have weakness on one side of their body as a result of a stroke. There are various other conditions that can make it difficult for a patient to dress as well.

Part of your job as a nursing assistant is to help patients with activities of daily living.  Whenever possible, your ultimate goal is to help patients to learn to complete some of their daily activities on their own.  You will do all you can to help your patients gain as much independence as possible.  Sometimes a patient can learn to dress on their own even if they have suffered a stroke or other serious medical condition.

You will want to make certain that you teach your patient ways to dress themselves that will be safe and that will reduce the risk of falls or other injuries. Before helping a patient to dress, you will need to wash your hands.  You should explain to your patient that you will now be assisting him or her to dress.

When you are assisting a patient who is dressing, you should make sure that his or her clean clothes are within reach.  You do not want your patient to stretch to reach their clothes if they are able to do themselves.

A patient who has weakness on one side of their body should always start undressing on their week side.  However, when a patient is dressing, they will want to start with the side that is the strongest first.  You must do all you can to make sure that your patient is able to dress safely without falling or injuring themselves in any way.

 

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