CNA Training Skills: Shaving a Patient

cna trainingCNA Training

One of the scariest skills you may learn during CNA training is how to shave a patient. This skill is scary for many CNAs because they worry about cutting the patient or hurting them in some way. If you pay attention to the instructions your CNA training instructor gives you, however, this skill doesn’t have to be as scary as you might think.


Shaving Patients After CNA Training


Both male and female patients will often want to shave every day when you are working in the medical field. If they are unable to perform this skill on their own, it will be your job to ensure they are shaved correctly.


Shaving should be the choice of your patient, and you should always let them make that choice. It allows them to retain some of their independence. However, you should also consult your patient’s nurse before attempting to shave him or her. As you will be taught during CNA training, some patients have disorders or illnesses that can affect the way they bleed. Some also take medications that can do the same. After CNA training, you will be able to shave your patients easily, but if you should make a mistake or an accident occurs, the tiniest cut can be life threatening to a patient with a bleeding problem.


Whether you are shaving a patient’s face, legs, or underarms, use these steps to ensure it is done correctly after CNA training.


  • Wash your hands and greet the patient. Put on gloves to protect your skin should bleeding occur. Discuss the process with the patient, and determine whether he or she is able to perform some or all of the shaving.


  • Gather all of the supplies you will need, such as razors, shaving cream, wash clothes, towels, and warm water.


  • If your patient can sit up, raise the head of the bed and place a towel under the area of the body you are going to shave. In CNA training, you learned that this protective barrier is essential because it protects the patient’s sheets and blankets from contamination.


  • Decide which type of razor you will be using. Many hospitals and nursing homes require electric razors for most patients, as it reduces the chance of cuts. If you are using a regular razor, however, make sure to wet down the area that will be shaved with warm water. This will help soften the hair.


  • Always shake the can of shaving cream to create thick foam, put the cream in your hand, and then lather the hair with the shaving cream. If it is available, use a shaving cream warmer. If not, placing the can of shaving cream in a tub or sink full of warm water can warm up the cream so it isn’t so cold against your patient’s skin after CNA training.


  • Holding onto the skin so it is tight, begin shaving in the direction of the hair growth. Shave small sections at a time, rinsing the razor in warm water before each stroke. Repeat this for the entire section you are shaving after CNA training.


  • Wash and pat dry the shaved area, checking for any cuts that might have occurred. If you notice any, apply pressure to stop the bleeding and be sure to report them to the nurse. If the bleeding is bad, seek help immediately.


  • If your patient wants it, use after shave lotion or regular lotion on the area, then clean all of the equipment and supplies you used.


Don’t be Afraid to Shave Your Patients After CNA Training


While shaving another individual can be intimidating, you don’t need to be scared about shaving patients after CNA training. Just make sure you follow the steps your CNA training instructor taught you and speak to the patient’s nurse about possible complications before you begin. Before long, you will be a pro at shaving, and you will be glad you paid attention during CNA training.

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