CNA Skill: Measuring a patients urinary output

There will be times when you are asked to measure a patient’s urinary output.  Some of the patients will be wearing a indwelling catheter.  You will want to measure their urinary output often.  You will pay careful attention the the amounts of urine drained from the catheter.  In most cases, you will keep the patient’s nurse updated on these readings and will also record measurements on their chart.

A patients should be urinating at least 30ccs every hour.  You should notify their nurse immediately, if they are outputting less urine than that.  Patients should not be urinating more than 400ccs in an hour.  Once again, you should report to the nurse if their readings are higher than that amount.

You will also be paying attention to the physical appearance of the urine.  Make certain that the urine is not cloudy or that there is not sediment in the urine.  You should also make certain the urine is not green, dark amber or any other unusual color.  Talk to the patient’s nurse immediately if you notice an problems.  You should also notify their nurse immediately if you see blood in the urine.  Foul smelling urine should also be reported.

Some patients will be using a bedpan.  You will need to take a reading every time they use the bedpan.  Before helping a patient off the bedpan, you need to wash your hands and put on a pair of gloves.  You should take measures to provide the patient with privacy.  Put the head of your patients bed so that it is laying flat.  You will then turn the patient on their side.  Always support the bedpan well so that nothing spills out.

Lay the bedpan aside while you provide perineal care for your patient.  Make certain that your patient is returned to a comfortable position. Provide them with a washcloth or wipe to clean their hands.  You will then be able to measure the output in the bedpan and report or record it as instructed.  Empty the bedpan and then wash your hands.

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