How to Measure the Height and Weight of a Supine Patient

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For patients, who do not have enough strength to stand up for getting their height and weight measured; the measuring and weighing process is conducted, when they are lying on the bed. The measuring and weighing process is extremely vital for patients, as it indicates about the medical conditions and its seriousness for a patient.

How to Measure the Height and Weight of a Supine Patient

Points to Remember

  • The moment you enter the room, you must greet the patient politely.
  • Do not forget to wash your hands thoroughly, before you start the process.
  • Make clear about the actions you are going to perform for patients, to calculate their weight and height.
  • Maintain the privacy of the client by setting the curtains of the rooms properly.
  • The process requires two people to assist in the process of measuring weight and height of the patient.
  • For that, you have to take help from any one of your colleague.
  • You must introduce your co-assistant as well to the client, before getting the activity started.
  • Tell your co-assistant to wash hands thoroughly.

Stepwise Procedure to Follow the Measuring of Height & Weight of the Patient:

Step 1- Set the bed level
The initial step you need to perform is to make the bed level even. Check that the patient should be lying flat on it.

Step 2- Put the bed scale pad
Turn the patient on one side of the bed and place the bath blanket. You can also take your colleague’s help to assist you in putting the bed scale pad below the patient.

Step 3-Start Marking
Place the bath blanket sheet on the patient’s bed, to make necessary markings. Mark the bottom of the client’s feet and top of the head on the sheet. These markings are done to calculate the height of the patient.

Step 4- Calculate the Markings
For this, you have to calculate the gap in between the two markings done by you on the bath blanket, earlier. This shows the actual height of the ailing person. Now, you need to write down the calculated value on the client’s medical chart.

Step 5- Check the Weight
To check the weight of the client, you must take use of the bed scale. Measure the weight of the patient and write down the calculated value on the medical chart.

Step 6- Remove the equipments
When the process gets over, you must remove the bed scale and bath blanket that was in use during the activity.

Step 7- Bring the patient into a comfort level
Make sure you are leaving the patient in an uncomfortable position, after the process. You must assist him/her to get into a comfortable place.

Step 8- Washing the hands
Once, the measuring of weight and height is done, you need to wash your hands neatly.

What Does the Examiner See when You Perform this Skill?

Apart from the above given steps, you can know the details of this procedure by reading the below given tips. This also includes the weighing and measuring of a capable of standing patient, incapable patient and patient on the wheelchair. This will also guide you to know about the evaluator’s observation in the CNA skills and the points you need to keep in mind:

(Height Measurements For Capable Of Standing Clients)

1. Have you started the procedure correctly for recording the height of the patient, who is capable of standing up?
Tip- Always begin the activity by greeting the patients and then carry on the further steps.

2. Have you measured the altitude of the patient accurately?
Tip- Take the measured values accurately and note it down on the patients file.

3. Do you utilize appropriate tools for taking the measurements of the client?
Tip- Make sure, you have taken the appropriate tools in use for taking the measurements of the patients.

4. Have you provided the paper towels on the platform to the patients (if required)?
Tip- Always provide paper towels to clients on the platform so that they may take in use whenever, they require it.

5. Have you said the client to stand straight and take the shoes off before the measurement?
Tip- Do not forget to remind or request the patient to take the shoes out and stand parallel, before starting the measurement process.

6. Have you checked the measurement of height properly?
Tip- Make certain that whatever values you measure, it should be accurate.

7. Have you converted the measured numbers properly?
Tip- To convert the figures accurately is vital, as when the examiner will compare it with the values calculated by him personally, it should be equal.

(Height Measurements for Not Capable Of Standing)

8. Have you helped the patient while taking the measurement of height, who is incapable of standing? 
Tip– You have to assist the lying patient to roll on one of the sides of the bed. Set the patient lying absolutely straight on his/her back on the bed.

9.  Have you taken the use of appropriate devices for taking measurements for lying patients?
Tip- For clients, you cannot get up from the bed, be confirmed about the tool you use for their measurement is right.

10.  Have you read the dimensions of height correctly?
Tip- Once you read the numbers measured for the height, you must cross check it.

11. Do you take the measurements accurately for making comparisons, with the markings taken by the examiner?
Tip- No matter, in which condition the patient is; as a CNA it is always your duty to record the value and convert it accurately. This is later on checked by the examiner.

12.  Do you provide support to the patient to become comfortable?
Tip- Even after the procedure gets completed; you have to help the patient to bring in back in a restful position, in the bed.

13. Have you concluded the process with apt closing steps?
Tip- It is also your major duty to conclude the activity by conducting all the closing steps.

(While Copying and Measuring the Weight of the Client)

14. Do you perform the initial steps properly, while taking the weight measurements of the client?
Tip- For measuring the weight of the clients also; you must start the things properly.

15. Do you first bring the reading at ‘0’ of the scale, before weighing?
Tip- Before, starting the weighing process, always check that you have brought the scale reading at ‘0’.

16. Have you calculated the weight of the patient correctly?
Tip- While, calculating the weight of the client, you must concentrate minutely on the figures; in order that you do not miss out on anything or go wrong.

17. Do you use correct devices for weighing the patients, who are able to stand up?
Tip- Make sure, you take into use appropriate devices for measuring the weights of a non-supine patient.

18. Have you placed the paper towels for them too, on the podium (if required)?
Tip- Every time you start this activity, you must place some paper towel for the non-supine patient, as well.

19. Have you asked them to stand horizontally and take out the shoes, before the weighing process has started?
Tip- You must request them politely to take out their shoes and stand straight during this process.

20. Have you read the weight measurements accurately?
Tip- Always, note down the measured figures correctly, if required do cross check, as well.

21. Have you converted the recorded value correctly?
Tip- After recording the values, you also have to convert them accurately; as while comparing it with the measured values taken by the assessor, it should match correctly.

22. Have you supported the client while getting down the scale?
Tip- After, you have noted down the measured values, you must also help the patient to get off from the weighing scale.

23. Do you sanitize the wheelchair or the bed scale (as applicable by the facility) in case of taking the measurements of patients who are not capable of standing up?
Tip- You also need to sanitize and keep the equipments like the bed scale and wheelchair clean, after taking the values height and weight of the clients.

24. Have you place the patient on an appropriate device, seeing the comfort level?
Tip- Make sure, you position the patient on a correct device keeping their conveniences into consideration. You may make them sit on a bed scale or a wheelchair scale; whichever is more suitable for them.

25. Have you recorded and converted the values properly?
Tip- You have to perform almost the same duties for the supine patient, as well. Make sure you take the values and convert their weight and height measurements into accurate figures. These numbers will also be crossed checked with examiner’s recorded values; so verify the figures properly.

26. Have you provided full support to the patient who is not capable of standing up?
Tip- You have to give proper support to the Supine patient, while getting off from the bed or the wheelchair scale with safety.

27. Where have you marked the scale reading for such patients?
Tip- The scale reading for supine patients should have brought at ‘0’ for taking measurements.

28. Have you done the end things pertinently for these clients, as well?
Tip- End the entire process by doing the closing steps suitably for the clients.

Expert’s Tips:

  • While conducting this activity, you must always keep in mind that sometimes a slight variation in patient’s weight might also be an indication of his/her severe medical condition.
  • If the result shows some differences from the original weight of the patient, then you must immediately notify the senior nurse about it.
  • You also need to take out the ‘BMI’ (Body Mass Index) of the clients. Make sure, you do this accurately as the calculation necessitates the measurements of height and weight that you have taken before.
  • In case, if you do not know how to estimate BMI, you must request the supervisor nurse to assist you.
  • You can also call your co-worker to lend a hand so that you can easily finish the practice of calculating the tallness and weight of a client. This will also aid the client to avoid any sort of discomfort.
  • Make sure, you do the task on time.

Video Demonstration

These videos are provided to give you clear demonstrations of how these activities should be done by following step by steps methods for a supine, non-supine and a wheelchair person: