CNA Skill – Dresses Client with Affected Weak Arm

In this blog post, we will be going over how to dress a client with an affected arm as a CNA. This is important for CNAs because it may happen on occasion that they are assigned to work with clients who have difficulties using their arms due to injury or illness. We will also go over how the clothes should be positioned and what materials should be used when dressing your patient.

This blog post is written from experience from working in the medical field as a CNA, so if you’re struggling with any of these tasks feel free to reach out for help!

Here is a video demonstration on dressing a client with an affected weak arm.

Dresses Client with Affected Weak Arm

The process for dressing a client with an affected arm during the CNA skills exam is as follows:

  1. First of all, Knock before entering the patient’s room and introduce yourself. You should also explain your plans for what you will be doing during the visit, like checking their temperature or blood pressure. This is important because it may not always seem obvious to them when they are having a check-up with someone new so this lets them know that all of these procedures have been explained beforehand as well as giving consent beforehand.
  2. If you are unable to tell which arm is weaker, be sure to follow the patient’s care plan.
  3. Patients should be asked what they would like to wear for the day. If a preference is not given, you can retrieve it from their closet and find something comfortable that will make them feel dignified (rather than just being put in some robe). When taking your CNA exam, keep this consideration of comfort in mind because there are likely many times when patients may have difficulties with buttons or zippers.
  4. Place a towel or small sheet on the table in order to place all of your patient’s clothes. You may need this so you can have their clothing placed on it preventing any dirt from getting onto them, and making them feel more comfortable while dressing up.
  5. Close the privacy curtain before starting with anything else for maximum comfort levels and respect towards your patient’s wishes.
  6. After that wash your hands properly.
  7. When you dress the patient, make sure to position them in a way that is most convenient for changing their clothes. When adjusting the bed, ask permission before doing so because it may startle your loved one and they might retaliate if startled by sudden movement or touch.
  8. To make the process as painless and speedy for your patient, carefully unbutton their shirt while making sure not to fully expose them. Take off the strong arm first so you can work around it without any trouble from a weak or injured one.
  9. Lift up the patient’s back to get their shirt off from the other side of their body without having to aggressively pull it sideways. Remove the shirt completely off from this person’s weak arm by sliding it away and over them.
  10. Begin putting the new shirt on the patient beginning with their weak arm. Put on one sleeve of a new shirt starting at your partner’s weaker arm, and roll it up slowly to make sure they’re comfortable.
  11. As you gently lift the patient’s back, slide their shirt to the other side. Slide up their sleeve with another hand in order not pull on them. Button it all up!
  12. Remove the privacy blanket and place it in its designated spot. Place any dirty clothes into a hamper or bin.
  13. Be sure to make the patient feel comfortable by ensuring their clothes fit well. This will help them enjoy wearing it for a longer period of time.
  14. Ensure that the patient is comfortable before you lower their bed. Make sure they know what’s happening and are ready for it, so as not to startle them at all!
  15. Again, wash your hands following the hand washing procedure.

We hope this post has been helpful to you in understanding how to dress a client with an affected arm. In the event that it wasn’t, please feel free to contact us at any time for more information! If you have any other questions related to caring for clients who are unable or unwilling to care for themselves, we also recommend visiting our blog posts on CNA skills such as dressing wounds and feeding clients.

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