CNA Skill: Placing a patient on the bedpan

Sometimes your patients will need to use a bedpan.  You can do your part to help your patient maintain their sense of dignity when they need to use a bedpan.

Always wash your hands well before assisting a patient with a bedpan.  You should greet your patient upon entering their room.  Place a pair of gloves on your hands before starting the process.  Let the patient know that you will be providing a bedpan for them so that they know what you are doing.  Close the patient’s door to provide them with privacy.  You should also pull the privacy curtain around their bed if one is available.

You will need to have your patient lay down in a supine position.  Some patients will need you to lay them in this position.  Turn your patient over to their side so that you can lay the bedpan under their buttocks.  You will then gently roll the patient back onto their back.  Ask the patient to open his or her legs so that you can ensure the bedpan is in the proper position.  Make certain to raise the head of the bed for added comfort for the patient.

You can then provide your patient with a call bell so that they can call you when they done using the bedpan.  Unless you have been instructed to stay in the room, you can then leave the room to provide your patient with privacy.  Upon leaving the room, you will need to take off your gloves and to again wash your hands using the proper procedure.

When your patient calls you to return to the room, you will need to again wash your hands and put on gloves.  Once again, you should take all necessary measures to provide your patient with privacy.  At this point you will need to lay the bed into a flat position so that you can help the patient turn onto their side.  While you are moving the patient, you should hold onto the bedpan to keep it steady thus preventing any spills or leaks.

You can place the bedpan safely aside for a few minutes while you provide any necessary perineal care for your patient.  You will then help the patient to return to a comfortable position.  You can provide them with a washcloth or wet wipe (whichever is allowed by our healthcare provider) so that your patient can wash their hands.

It is likely that you will document urine output and bowel movements made by your patient.  Take any necessary measurements before properly disposing of the contents of the bed pan.  Follow all instructions set forth by the hospital or facility where you work for disposal of body fluids.  Remove your gloves and wash your hands again after all steps have been completed.

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