In your CNA training you will cover a wide range of patient care activities and you will be trained in a core set of skills that will enable you to provide basic assistance to residents and patients that come into your care. One of these core skills that you will cover in your CNA training is mobilizing a weak or frail patient using an aide known as a gait belt.
Learning How to Use a Gait Belt in CNA Training
What is a Gait Belt?
A gait belt is a mobility aide that allows a nursing assistant or other medical support staff to assist a patient to move around, this is particularly useful in aged care facilities and in rehabilitation scenarios.
Why use a gait belt during CNA training or employment?
CNA training teaches gait belt use as part of a Nursing Assistant’s core skill set because it is a direct patient care duty that is employed regularly in aged care facilities, aged care facilities being one of the biggest employers of CNAs and providers of on the job CNA training in the country. Safe usage of mobility aides is paramount when dealing with weak or infirmed patients who would be bed ridden if not for nursing assistant support.
Are there different kinds of gait belt?
Gait belts can be made from a variety of heavy duty materials such as leather or canvas and are available in a range of lengths and fastening structures. Always familiarize yourself with the style of gait belt that a facility uses before attempting to mobilize your patient. This simple step can prevent injury to you or the patient in your care.
Step by step gait belt instructions
These instructions are designed to serve as an overview and guide; they should not be used in the place of certified clinical training.
1. Explain what the gait belt is for, why it needs to be used in this situation and that it will be removed after use.
2. Fit the belt over the patient’s clothes at the waist so that it buckles at the front, being mindful of sensitive areas such as breasts in the case of female patients.
3. The end of the belt is then threaded through the teeth of the buckle, weaving in and out of the openings to lock.
4. Fit the belt to be firm but not tight, leaving enough room to get your fingers under to assist the patient.
5. Use Occupational Health and Safety Guidelines when assisting a patient with movement. Do not strain or place any undue stress on your muscles or ligaments.
6. Maintain good posture
7. Bend at the knees not the back
8. Lift using your arm and leg muscles; Do not use your back to lift a patient or strain your neck muscles.
9. Keep a straight body line when lifting; a twisted body can also lead to injury
10. Assist your patient to their destination, assisting their movement using the gait belt where necessary.
11. Ensure your patient is safe and comfortable.
12. Remove the gait belt.