CNA Training Information: Side Rail Safety

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During your CNA training, you will learn that the use of side rails is extremely important for patient safety. After CNA training, you will find that every healthcare facility you work in will have beds that are equipped with these side rails for a few reasons:




  • They can provide stability when you are assisting a patient with turning on their side or lifting themselves while they are in bed after your CNA training.


  • They can protect your patients from falling out of their beds and injuring themselves.


While side rails may not be the most expensive or technical piece of equipment you work with after CNA training, they are very necessary in the medical field.


When to Use Side Rails After CNA Training


After CNA training, you will need to properly observe patients order to determine whether they need the use of side rails. Some patients may be able to get in and out of bed without them and may be independent enough to avoid falling out of bed without any assistance. However, there will be certain types of patients after CNA training that will always require the use of side rails for their own protection.


  • Patients that are confused or disoriented


  • Patients who are susceptible to seizures and those who have seizures in the past


  • Patients who are on heavy medication



Safety and Side Rails After CNA Training


When you do need to use side rails after CNA training, these safety precautions should always be followed.


  • When you use side rails after CNA training, make sure they are locked in place before you leave a patient’s room. This will ensure they are secure and are not going to fall down and leave a patient vulnerable to injury.


  • When you are lowering or raising the side rails, always make your patient’s legs and arms are clear of the rails. If they are accidentally caught in the path of the rails, their arms or legs can be broken.


  • Keep an eye on your patient’s catheter tubes and IV tubing when you are using side rails. If they are left in the way, the tubes can be pinched or even broken.


  • Routinely check on the functionality of the rails after CNA training, as they should always be operating correctly in order to ensure the patients aren’t at risk for an injury. If you find that the rail is loose, is damaged, or isn’t working properly, make sure you report it immediately to your charge nurse. You may need to fill out a report as well.


  • At times, protective padding may need to be placed on the side rails after CNA training. Check your patient’s care plan to see if this padding is needed for their protection. Most often, this padding is used to keep patients safe if they are at risk for bumping into the rail or to keep their arms and legs from falling down in between the rail and the bed.


You are your patient’s first line of safety. Make sure you always use side rails when needed and keep your patient’s safety in mind at all times after CNA training.

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