CNA Training Skills – Using a Bedpan

CNA TrainingCNA Training Tasks

Assisting bedridden is a common task undertaken by certified nursing assistants, especially those who are employed in aged care and nursing homes. As a result CNA training requires student to learn to assistant a patient or resident to use a bedpan.

CNA Training; Learning To Properly Use a Bedpan

What is a bedpan?
A bed pan is a purpose designed piece of equipment design to allow patients to urinate and defecate without leaving the bed. This toileting device is made from a non-porous substance such as metal plastic or glass. Most commonly bedpans are a traditional oval design or an ergonomic design that is now being more commonly used in hospitals. Bedpans can vary in depth and design, and may be specifically design to assist people with particular movement restrictions such as hip fractures.

Which patients need to make use of a bedpan?

  • Any patient who is temporarily or permanent bedridden but are not able or in a serious enough condition to have a catheter. This may include patients suffering from:
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Apoplexia cerebri
  • Dementia
  • Temporary illness or injury that impedes them from leaving their bed
  • The aftereffects of surgery

What are the safety concerns when assisting a patient to use a bedpan?
Any activity which requires a CNA or student in CNA training to mobilise a patient or resident involves a certain element of risk, particularly the risk of strain related injuries or injuries to the patient from incorrect positioning. Also the designs of some of the older style bed pans do not support patients adequately and can cause ulcers due to narrow contact points. CNAs and students in CNA training must also remember to wear appropriate PPE before attempting any such activity with a patient or resident, particularly if the patient or resident has an infectious disease.

What is the procedure for assisting a patient to use a bedpan?
1.    Explain the procedure to patient, ensure they have the best possible understand of the task you are about to assist them with.
2.    Ensure patient’s privacy. Close curtains are door where possible.
3.    Manoeuvre bed into lowest possible position to allow for ease of access and mobility.
4.    Apply appropriate PPE; gloves at a minimum are required.
5.    Assist the patient to lie on their back, and then roll to their side.
6.    Place bedpan under the patient’s buttocks as demonstrated in your CNA training.
7.    Ensure that the bedpan is placed correctly by asking the patient to spread their legs
8.    Once the patient is comfortable raise the head of the bed, informing them clearly first.
9.    Support the patient until bed head is raised if necessary
10.    Remove gloves
11.    Once the patient has finished wash hands and reapply gloves
12.    Lower the head of the bed
13.    Assist the client to roll onto the side before removing the bedpan.
14.    Move the bedpan a safe distance away
15.    Ensure client’s genitals and buttocks are clean
16.    Return the patient or resident to a comfortable position, offer a cloth to wash hands
17.    Document secretions
18.    Dispose of secretions and clean or dispose of bedpan as directed.
19.    Remove gloves and thoroughly wash hands

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