During your CNA training, you will learn how to perform many different skills. Every skill you are taught will be used to make your patients more comfortable and prevent health issues. No matter where you work after CNA training, whether as an in-home health aide, in a nursing home, or in a hospital, one of the most important skills you will be required to perform daily is perineal care.
Perineal care is done when a patient becomes incontinent, after a patient uses a bedpan, or during a patient’s daily bathing. It involves washing the genital and rectal areas of a patient. During CNA training, you will learn the important of proper perineal care, and how it provides you with the opportunity to observe a patient’s skin condition in that area so you can look for signs of infection like swelling and lesions. Proper perineal washing also help you prevent urinary tract infections after CNA training, which can cause kidney and bladder infections in your patients.
If it has been a little while since you went through CNA training, you may need a refresher course on proper perineal care. The following are step-by-step instructions on how it should be performed.
After CNA Training: How to Perform Perineal Care
- When you enter the room, wash your hands thoroughly and explain to the patient what you will be doing. Answer any questions the patient might have, and then wash your hands thoroughly again and put on gloves.
- If the patient is able to move his legs, as him to spread them apart. If not, inform the patient of what you are doing, and then gently spread the legs apart.
- If possible, ask the patient to raise his buttocks in the air a little bit and position a towel underneath him. This way, the majority of water and germs will fall on the towel, instead of the sheets or blankets beneath the patient.
- With a washcloth and warm water, or special perineal soap and cloths, gently wash the perineal area. Remember your CNA training while you are doing this: wipe from front to back to avoid dragging germs from the anal area to the urethra. This can result in a urinary tract infection. While you are washing, look for any indications of infection, like pain in the area, sores, boils, or rashes. These problems should be reported immediately to your charge nurse.
- Make sure to use a clean washcloth that has not been previously used on the patient. In other words, don’t wash the patient’s face and use the same washcloth for perineal care. Doing so maximizes the spread of germs.
- When you have finished washing, dry the area with a different clean towel. Make sure the area is completely dry or the skin may become chapped.
- Remove the towel from under the patient, and check to see if any of the linens became soiled or are wet. If they are, replace them as quickly as possible and place the soiled ones in the appropriate receptacle.
- Help your patient move back into a comfortable position on the bed, then dispose of your gloves and wash your hands thoroughly.
Perineal Care After CNA Training
After CNA training, you will be responsible for making sure your patients remain clean and free from infection. For this reason, it is essential you know how to properly perform perineal care when you have completed your CNA training.