During your CNA training, you will be taught how to use a gait belt, or transfer belt, with your patients. This belt is very important, as it allows you to help you patients ambulate regularly. This provides them with regular exercise, and helps prevent circulation and mobility problems. This belt isn’t used for every patient, however, but only for patients that have trouble standing and walking by themselves.
During CNA training, you will also learn another important reason a gait belt is used: to prevent falls. Falls for patients, especially those that are elderly, can be devastating. They may cause additional injuries or interfere with a patient’s recovery.
Using a gait belt after CNA training isn’t difficult, but it should be done correctly to ensure the safety of both you and the patient you are assisting. Here is a short refresher course on how ot use one.
How to Use a Gait Belt After CNA Training
Before you use the gait belt after CNA training, make sure your patient is wearing comfortable clothing and either rubber soled socks or shoes. Make sure you choose clothing that won’t hamper his or her movements while he is walking. Make sure all of the equipment the patient is hooked up to, like an IV or oxygen tank, is portable so it can travel with you. If needed, you can also provide your patient with a cane or walker to assist with his movement.
- The first thing you should do when using a gait belt after CNA training is lower the patient’s bed. It should be placed on the lowest level possible, and the wheels should be locked. Help the patient sit up, and then move their legs so they are sitting on the edge of the bed. Let the patient sit there for a moment to ensure dizziness does not occur.
- Apply the gait belt around the waist of your patient after CNA training, taking care to make sure it is applied on top of clothing, not skin. If it sits on your patient’s skin, it can cause skin tears. Stand in front of the patient, and ask him to place his hands beside his legs on the bed and put his feet on the floor. Then, ask him to lean toward you. While he is doing this, grasp with belt. place your feet next to the patient’s, and gently bend your needs. Gently lift using the gait belt to help your patient stand.
- Allow your patient to stand still for a few moments after standing up out of bed. Check to make sure the patient does not experience any dizziness and there are no changes to his respiration.
- Once of the person is steady, allow him to grip his walker or cane on their strong side. Position yourself behind the patient on their weakest size, remembering to hold onto the transfer belt at all time.
- When using a gait belt to help your patients walk after CNA training, always remember that the belt should only be used for short distances. It is not intended to be used to walk them to the dining hall, unless the room is only a few steps away. Physical therapists may use the belt for longer distances, but these individuals have more training. Also, don’t rush the patient and allow him to rest whenever needed.
- When helping your patient into a chair or back into their bed after CNA training, use the same procedure you did when helping them out of bed.
Using a Gait Belt Correctly After CNA Training is Essential for Patient Health
By using a gait belt after CNA training, you are able to help you patients remain independent, as well as encouraging a faster recovery process. Make sure you know how to use your gait belt properly to ensure you are giving your patients the best care after CNA training.