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CNA Training Skills: Giving Your Patient a Backrub | CNA Training Class

CNA Training Skills: Giving Your Patient a Backrub

cna trainingCNA Training

What could be more relaxing after a nice hot shower than a backrub? Backrubs promote relaxation, stimulate circulation, and relive tension in the muscles, all of which are important for your patients after CNA training. When you complete your CNA training, this skill will be a duty you perform almost every day for many of your patients, and you must learn how to do it correctly in order to ensure it is effective.



Administering a Backrub After CNA Training


During CNA training, you must pay close attention to the directions given by your CNA training instructor. While this overview may help you review this skill, it is no substitute for actually seeing the skill taught during CNA training.


  • Wash your hands, and then greet and speak to your patient about what you will be doing. Explain to them how you will be giving them a backrub, and ask about any areas of their back that feel particularly sore.


  • Prepare the equipment you will need, such as a bath towel, bath blanket, lotions, and powder.


  • Adjust the bed so it is high enough you can easily work. During CNA training, this step was enforced time and time again to ensure you could perform your tasks without hurting yourself. Remember it.


  • Shut the door, or draw the privacy curtain to ensure a quiet and peaceful environment in which your patient can relax.


  • Lower the rail on the side where you are standing. Like you learned in CNA training, gently roll the patient over, with his back toward you. Place the bath blanket or towel under the patient to catch any excess lotion and prevent contamination of his sheets and bedspread. Cover the patient completely, leaving on the area that will be massaged exposed.


  • Wash your hands again and warm them up if you need to. Take a good look at your patient’s back before you apply any lotion. With your CNA training, you should be able to identify any rashes, sores, and open wounds. If you notice these, stop the backrub and report them to the nurse.


  • If the patient’s back is fine, put some lotion in your hands and rub your hands together to warm it up. Just in case, however, make sure to explain to your patient that the lotion may still be cool.


  • When you begin a massage after CNA training, start in the sacral area and stroke the patient’s back up to his shoulders. Use circular motions, but make sure your strokes are smooth and firm. Then, like you were taught in CNA training, move over the scapulae, to the upper arms, and down to the iliac crests. Don’t lift your hands while you do this. As your CNA training instructor taught you, your hands should always remain in contact with the patient’s skin.


  • Be firm, but gentle, as you knead the skin across the patient’s shoulders and the nape of his neck. Then travel down along both sides of the sacrum.


You Complete a Massage After CNA Training


After CNA training, a backrub should only take three to five minutes. When you are done, remove any lotion that is left on the back using a towel, apply powder to dry the skin if necessary, and help your patient dress and return to a comfortable position. Lower the bed, raise the rail, and place all of the soiled linen in the correct receptacle. Then, wash your hands like you were taught to do in CNA training.

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