It is an important task of a CNA to measure the weight and height of an ambulatory patient as these measurements often indicates some serious health-related issues about the patient. If a patient cannot be raised or cannot stand up due to some physical condition, the health care worker will have to measure it while the patient is lying down with the help of a fellow nurse aide. The materials that will be used are a bath blanket and a bed scale in order to get to know the patient’s weight and height. It is important that the CNA conduct this skill with sufficient care and provide the patient with the privacy that they need.
The first step is to knock on the patient’s door and to call out their name. This is to let the patient know about your presence and to make sure that you are with the right patient as well. After that, greet them in a polite manner and introduce yourself and your fellow worker. Explain to the patient why you are there and try to give them the step by step process that will be done to the patient to make them less anxious and to make them more cooperative.
You and the other employee must both wash your hands first and use the appropriate personal protective equipment before handling the patient. Then lower the bed if it is raised on one side until it is on a parallel position with the floor.
Raise the side rails in order to protect the patient from rolling off and then put them in a bath blanket by rolling them to one of their sides.
Mark the area where the patient’s head and feet end as this will serve as the measurement for the height of the patient. Place the bed scale on the bed and with the help of your colleague place the patient in it. Take note of the weight and record that on the appropriate form.
Remove the bed scale from the bed and then return the patient to a comfortable position. Proceed to measuring the patient’s height. Measure the length or distance between the marks for the head and the foot and then write them down on the form.
After you are finished recording the measurements, remove your personal protective equipment and proceed to handwashing. Before you leave the room make sure that the patient is comfortable or that you have addressed any of their needs. Place their call lights within their reach as well.
Measuring a patient’s height and weight can be done much easier if you know the steps on how to do it well. Remember that you will need the help of another CNA and they also have to practice proper safety precautions and infection control when handling the patient. As much as possible explain to the patient what is being conducted at the moment in order to remove their apprehensiveness. Always be polite and respectful to the patient while conducting the whole process.