How to Assist a Dependant Patient in Dressing?

Due to ill health conditions, patients become dependent on others to perform their routine activities, even for wearing clothes. A stroke or any other severe medical condition weakens one side or the whole body of the person, thereby making it difficult for him to dress on his own. Helping the patients with their daily tasks is the part of a CNA’s job. Being a nurse aide you must know how to assist a dependent patient in dressing? This article will help you in learning this skill, step-wise.

Step-wise Procedure for Assisting a Dependant Patient in Dressing

Step 1- Perform initial tasks
Wash hands and wear gloves. Wish the patient. Explain him that you are going to assist him in dressing.

Step 2- Teach the correct way to change clothes
In order to trim down the risk of injuries and falls, guide your patient the right procedure to change clothes. It will also help in increasing his level of independence.

Step 3- Assist in undressing
Start undressing the patient on his weaker side. Allow him to remove his clothes at his own. Support him when he asks for your assistance or when you feel the requirement. Put the dirty clothes to the side. Put the clean clothes in such a way that the client can reach them easily.

Step 4- Monitor carefully
You need to keep a watch on your client minutely in order to prevent him from falling. Ensure that he is able to dress safely. In case, he feels dizzy or fatigued, be prepared to help him/her either to lie or sit down instantly.

Step 5- Assist in dressing
Guide the patient to begin dressing with the strongest side first. Say if, the patient is stronger on the right portion of the body; ask him to put his right arm in the right sleeve, first. Let the client to perform maximum of the task without your help.

Step 6- Perform final task
Put dirty clothes at proper place. Dispose the gloves and rinse your hands.

Points to Remember

  • Ensure that clean clothes should be within the reach of the patient. Even if your client is able to reach his clothes, don’t allow him to stretch.
  • Begin undressing on the weaker side of the patient’s body. Dressing must be started with the strongest side first.
  • When the patient completes the task, put dirty clothes in a proper holder or receptacle.

What Does an Examiner Observe When You Perform Hand Washing?

The examiner notes the following things when you perform this skill.

  • How you have started skill demonstration?

Tip- Properly wash your hands before starting skill demonstration. Don’t forget to wear the gloves.

  • Whether you have provided guidance to the patient about the procedure or not?

Tip- Always instruct the right procedure to change clothes to your client.

  • If you have placed clean clothes within the reach of the patient?

Tip- Put clean clothes within the reach of the patient so as to prevent him from stretching.

  • How you assisted the patients in undressing?

Tip- Begin undressing the patient on his weaker side. Allow him to perform maximum of the task at his own.

  • How you dressed your clients?

Tip- Start dressing the patient with the strongest side of the body first. Provide assistance, only if, required.

  • Whether you prevented the circumstances, in which the client could fall?

Tip- Monitor the client carefully to ensure that he is performing the procedure in the correct manner. Help him to take a seat or stretch out on bed immediately, if he feels giddy or exhausted.

  • If you have put the dirty clothes at the right place?

Tip- Put the dirty clothes of the patient in an appropriate receptacle.

  • Whether you rinse your hands, after completion of the procedure?

Tip- Perform completion task i.e. washing hands and disposing of gloves.

Expert’s Tips:

A great challenge that you have to face as a CNA is to dress an independent client. Every patient has his/her own unique needs. You can’t apply the same method or procedure on all the clients. Don’t push, pull or misbehave with your patient, during skill test. The most effective way to make the client feel comfortable is to talk with them and brief them about the procedure; you are going to perform. Give your clients a little time so that he/she can respond to the care, you are providing. Talking with the patient while performing any skill (except hand washing) can reduce your nervousness.

Let the patients to dress them at their own and without your help, if they can do so. The dependent clients can also assist with their dressing activities to a little extent. The general mistake, most of the CNAs commit is to perform every little task for their patients. It makes the patient dependent on you. Therefore, you should motivate them for self-care. Their muscles get weaken, if you help the patients in every task and don’t allow them to do things at their own (even if they can). Always try to keep their bodies active to the maximum extent.

Video Demonstration

Look at the following video to find out the right procedure of assisting a dependant patient in dressing.