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Home » CNA Skills » Dressing & Undressing Dependent Patient

Dressing & Undressing Patient

Keeping your patients in clean clothing helps to preserve dignity. As a CNA, one of your duties is helping them to get dressed when they are unable to complete this task on their own. Dressing a resident is a relatively simple CNA skill to learn when you have the right information and are using the proper techniques.

When to Dress a Patient?

Most facilities have their own guidelines regarding when to dress patients. It is ideal to provide them with clean clothing on a daily basis. If you are working in a long-term care facility, allow the patient to choose their clothing for the day to foster independence.

For example, patient A awakens in the morning and plans to have her hair done. She wants to wear something modest since she will be moving around the facility. Help her get into pants and a shirt, as well as a pair of shoes.

Steps for Dressing a Dependent Patient

When a patient is dependent, they will need help to remove their current clothing and put clean clothes on. While it is important to encourage them to do as much as they can, there are several steps that can help you to get them into a clean outfit as smoothly as possible:

  1. Get all of their clean clothing together and near the bed
  2. Wash your hands
  3. Let them know that you are going to help them to get into clean clothing
  4. Help them get to the bed’s edge
  5. Remove their current clothing carefully and place it into the laundry basket
  6. Start by putting on their underwear one leg at a time
  7. Use the same process to put on their pants, placing them over their feet and then rolling them up
  8. Have the patient stand if possible to finish putting their pants on and then help them fasten any zippers, snaps or buttons
  9. After they sit back down, put on their socks and shoes
  10. Help them get into their shirt and assist them with any zippers, snaps or buttons
  11. Help them to return to a comfortable position in bed
  12. Wash your hands
  13. Take their old clothing to the hamper or wash basket

Video Tutorial on Dressing Dependent Patients

Expert Tips & Advice for Dressing a Dependent Patient

When you are dressing a dependent patient, the first tip to remember is to let them do as much as they can by themselves. This helps them to feel more independent.

As you are dressing them, keep an eye on how they are feeling. If they appear lightheaded or disoriented, immediately help them into a seated position.

As you are undressing and dressing your patient, check their skin. Make a note of any abnormalities, such as rashes, bruises or pressure sores.

FAQ About Dressing and Undressing Patients

Do you dress the weak or strong side first?

When you are dressing a patient with unequal strength on each side, start by removing clothing from their stronger side. Then, begin dressing them on their weaker side.

What does hanging to the left mean?

This refers to helping someone who may be unable to use one side or the other. If they are hanging to the left, dress the weaker side first.

What is the Hemi dressing technique?

A hemi dressing is helping someone with hemiparesis or hemiplegia to dress themselves. When someone suffers a brain injury or a stroke, they may lose the ability to use one side of their body.