CNA Training Skills: Recording Your Patients’ Urinary Output

cna trainingCNA Training

After CNA training, you will need to measure some of your patients’ urinary outputs to ensure their kidneys are functioning correctly. In order to do this, however you must take what you learned in CNA training and put it to good use.


The majority of the time, the patients who will need their input and output measured and recorded will be those who have catheters, however, this is not always the case. Sometimes you will need to record the urinary output when a patient uses the toilet or a bedpan. Today we are going to discuss how to measure and record urinary output in all three situations after CNA training.


Recording Urinary Output After CNA Training


Before you measure urinary output for any patient, make sure you greet them, explain what you will be doing, wash your hands thoroughly as you learned in CNA training, and put on gloves.


To measure and record output when a patient uses the toilet after CNA Training:


  • If a patient’s urinary output is required and they are ambulatory, a tool known as a ‘hat’ will be used. This devices catches the urine so it does not fall in the toilet, and looks like an upside-down hat. During CNA training, you will be taught that this hat should be placed in the toilet at the front to catch the urine. (It can also be placed at the back of the toilet to check bowel movements, but that is a topic for another day.)


  • Place the hat in the toilet, and, if your patient is able, instruct them to turn on their call light each time they use the restroom so you can record their output. If the patient is likely to forget or cannot call you each time, make sure to check the hat each time you do your rounds to see if it has been used.


  • The hat has measurements inside of it to make it easy to tell how much output is present. Record this information in the patient’s chart each time it is full, then empty and either replace or wash the hat.


If your patient has a catheter after CNA training:


  • The side of the collection bag for your patient’s catheter has markings you can read to determine the urinary output. Normally, a patient’s output should be between 30 and 400cc’s per hour. If the output is any more or any less, you should notify your charge nurse immediately. This could be a sign of a serious health condition.


  • Always consider the color, appearance, and smell of the urine. It should be pale yellow and clear, without any blood, cloudiness, unusual colors, like pink, amber, or brown, or sediment present.


  • When you have measured and recorded the urinary output in the chart, empty or replace the bag as directed by your charge nurse and wash your hands like you learned in CNA training.


If your patient is using a bedpan after CNA training:


  • After the patient is finished using the bedpan, remove the bedpan and ensure your patient is clean and dry, as discussed in this article and during your CNA training.


  • Put on clean gloves and then carefully pour the urine from the bedpan into a calibrated measuring container or graduate cylinder.


  • Place the container on a flat surface, and, stooping so you are at eye level with the cylinder, measure the amount of urine in the container and record it in the patient’s chart.


  • Discard the urine in the toilet, collecting any specimens required first, remove your gloves, and wash your hands.

Measuring and Recording Output After CNA Training


After CNA training, you will be responsible for measuring and recording many of your patients’ urinary outputs in order to prevent and determine if health problems exist. Make sure you know how to properly record this information, whether your patient uses the toilet, a bedpan, or a catheter after CNA training.



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