CNA Training Skills: Making an Occupied Bed

cna trainingCNA Training

During your CNA training, you will learn that sometimes it isn’t practical or possible to move a patient when you need to change the linen’s on his bed. However, if the sheets are soiled, it is important to remove the linens and replace them as quickly as possible to prevent infection and to maintain your patient’s level of comfort. For this reason, you will learn how to make an occupied bed during CNA training.


Making an occupied bed is bed accomplished by two nursing assistants. However, it can easily be done by one CNA after CNA training by using the following tips.


Making an Occupied Bed After CNA Training


  • When you come into the room, wash your hands with warm water and soap, and then put on gloves. Greet your patient and explain to them in detail that you are going to change their linens while they remain in the bed. Answer any questions they may have regarding this process before you begin.


  • If the patient’s bed has rails on the side, raise them. This will protect your patient as he or she rolls and ensure they do not fall off the bed.


  • Gently roll your patient to the side, being careful not to roll them too far that their face or body hits the rails or they fall off the bed. If the patient feels more comfortable doing so, they may hold onto the bed rail for support.


  • Undo the fitted sheet on your side of the bed. Roll it toward the patient, placing the soiled side down and tucking it just under the patient’s back. Then, take your clean fitted sheet on your side of the bed. If you are using a pad, remember your CNA training; place it on top of the clean fitted sheet so that its position is just below the patient’s hips. Roll the clean sheet toward you, so the bottom of the sheet is on top of the roll and then place the clean sheet under the outside edge of the dirty linen.


  • Raise the rail on your side of the bed and quickly move to the opposite side. Here, roll the patient gently so he rolls off of the soiled linen and onto the clean linen. This will allow you to easily remove the soiled sheets. Remember what you learned in CNA training: don’t throw your soiled sheets on the floor! This will spread germs and infection. Soiled sheets should be placed in the appropriate receptacle.


  • Once the soiled sheet is removed, unroll the clean fitted sheet and pad and pull them tightly so they are free from wrinkles. As you learned in CNA training, even the slightest wrinkles in a bed sheet can lead to pressure sores, so you must make sure there are none. Secure the sheet to the bed, then allow the patient to roll back onto his back.


  • Cover the patient with a clean top sheet and blanket. Use hospital or mitered corners on the sheet to secure the lower half. You should have learned this skill in CNA training. Help the patient become comfortable in the bed and adjust the sheets or blankets as needed.


  • Throw your gloves away and wash your hands.


After CNA Training: Removing Linens From an Occupied Bed


Removing linens while a patient is still laying in the bed is simple, and is very important for infection control after CNA training. This skill also helps you keep your patient clean and comfortable after CNA training.

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