CNA Training Skill: Measuring a Bed-Bound Patient’s Weight and Height

cna trainingCNA Training

After CNA training, many of the patients you work with will be unable to stand up by themselves or walk. So, when you need to measure their height and weight, it can be challenging. Thankfully, during CNA training you will be taught how to measure the height and weight of a supine patient, to detect any changes you and the rest of the medical staff need to be aware of to prevent serious illnesses.


Before you begin, make sure you have some help. Another individual who has completed CNA training will be necessary for ensuring both your safety and the safety of the patient during the procedure. As always, wash your hands to prevent the spread of infection and then greet the patient. Identify yourself and let the patient know you are going to be measuring their height and weight today, and explain the entire procedure to them. You should also make sure your colleague is introduced to the patient, so they feel completely comfortable. Answer any questions they might have about what you are going to be doing, and then follow these steps you learned in CNA training.



Measuring a Patient’s Height and Weight After CNA Training


Depending on your facility, there may be a couple of different ways you can obtain your patient’s weight after CNA training. Some facilities have bed scale pads that can be placed directly under the patient to determine his or her weight. In others, a special Hoyer-type lift is used. For this scenario, we are going to discuss how to use the bed scale pad, as this is the most commonly used after CNA training.


  • Lower the bed so your patient is lying completely flat. With the help of your colleague, roll the patient to one side and tuck a bath blanket and the bed scale under the patient. Roll the patient to his other side, then, so you can unroll the bath blanket and bed scale.


  • Let the patient rest on his back, and, as you learned in CNA training, spread the bath blanket out so it is smooth. With a pen, mark the blanket at the top of the patient’s head and at the bottom of the patient’s feet, ensuring his knees are as straight as possible.


  • The bed scale will make it easy to determine the patient’s weight. Simply read and record the weight in the patient’s chart.


  • Roll the patient to one side of the bed and tuck the bath blanket and scale beneath them. Roll them to the other side to remove these two objects completely, then help them return to a comfortable position in the bed.


  • Spread the bath blanket out and measure the distance between the two marks you made. This will be the patient’s height, and it should be recorded on his chart.


  • Make sure the patient is comfortable, has access to his call button, and doesn’t need anything else, then wash your hands thoroughly.


Why You Need This CNA Training Skill


Make sure you always check the patient’s previously recorded weight. If there is a significant change, it could indicate that your patient is suffering from an illness. After CNA training, it is your job to ensure the health of your patients, so you should report this change to your charge nurse as soon as you can. This will help you take the best possible care of your patients after CNA training.

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