After CNA training, it can be intimidating to work on a patient’s nails and hands. Some patient’s are reluctant to have someone file and clean their nails for fear of being hurt. In your CNA training you learned how many germs can be living on your hands and underneath your nails. You learned how to properly wash your hand, focusing underneath the nails, to prevent the spread of germs and disease. Your patient’s nails are no different. It is important to help your patient properly clean their hands and nails daily to ensure their health and safety. This CNA training review will go over the proper procedure for cleaning a patient’s hands and nails.
CNA Training: Steps to cleaning a patient’s hand and nails
1) Your CNA training taught you to always wash your hands and put on gloves before you interact with a patient. After your hands are clean, gather all the supplies you will need to perform your task. You don’t want to leave the patient while you get something you forgot.
2) Greet the patient warmly as you enter the room. Be sure to use their name and you name while you are letting them know why you are there. “Good morning Mrs. Smith. It’s Sally. I’m here to wash your hands today. How are you?”
3) You will already have a wash bin filled with warm water. Before you start, you are going to have the patient test the water that they will be soaking their hands in. Tell them that you are going to place their fingers in the water to test it. Once they have some of their fingers in, ask your patient if the water is alright. If they say it is, continue, if they say it isn’t, warm it up or cool it down. Then gently place both of the patient’s hands in the basin. Allow the patients hands to soak for a few minutes. (This would be a great time to comb the patient’s hair.)
4) After the patient’s hands have soaked, you will begin cleaning them with a wash cloth. Dip the wash cloth in the water, ring out the excess water leaving the cloth damp, and then put soap on the wash cloth. You will gently wash the patient’s hand making sure to get in between the fingers. Be sure to talk with the patient while you are cleaning them, like you learned to do in CNA training. “Mrs. Smith, How does that feel? Did you get to go outside today?” This helps the patient to feel comfortable.
5) It is now time to rinse the patient’s hands. Put the wash cloth off to the side, not in the wash bin, and rinse the patient’s hands in the wash bin. Be sure to get all of the soap off of their hands.
6) Using the orange wood stick, gently clean underneath the patient’s nails removing any debris. Remember your CNA training by not using the pointy end of the orange wood stick and being very gentle.
7) You are now ready to dry the patient’s hands. Move the wash bin out of the way and place the patient’s entire hand in a hand towel. Your CNA training taught you to pat dry, you do not want to rub the patient’s skin or you might hurt them.
8) Now that their hands are clean and dry, you are going to want to look at their nails. File any jagged edges leaving their nails smooth and short. Then wipe away any nail dust. Do not use nail clippers.
9) The last step to do with the patient is to put lotion on their hands. You CNA training taught you to put the lotion on your hands, rub your hands together to warm up the lotion, and then apply the lotion to their skin. You will want to give them a mini hand massage to ensure the lotion is absorbed by the skin. When you are done, pat away any extra lotion with a towel.
10) When you are done you need to follow your CNA training on properly cleaning and storing the items that you used.
11) Finally, remove your gloves and thoroughly wash your hands, as you learned how to do in CNA training.
Cleaning Your Patients’ Nails After CNA Training
Cleaning a patient’s hands properly after CNA training will reduce the spread of germs and ensure the patient doesn’t accidently scratch themselves or others with their finger nails. Your CNA training taught you to always talk to your patient while you are working with them. This is very important to ensure the patients comfort. Always ask if they are comfortable and try to ask them about their day. You will be relied upon by your patients daily not only to help them do physical things but to talk and care for them after CNA training.