I've just finished the first week of my CNA class and I've found some conflicting information in our book and the videos that we watch.
Specifically, when assisting ambulation using a gait belt, on which side of the resident do you stand?
The video said to stand on the resident's weak side. This makes sense to me because:
- It would keep me clear of a cane which would be used on the strong side
- It would allow the resident to grip wall-rails with their strong-side hand/arm
- The resident seems more likely to fall to their weak side. It's safer for my back if they fall toward me than if they fall away from me.
However, our book says to assist from the strong side but doesn't provide a justification. I asked our instructor who agreed and said that being on the strong side permitted the resident to support themselves on a wall-rail on their weak side. This makes no sense to me because how could they possibly support themselves with a weak-side arm?
So, what do the real-world CNA's do; assist from the strong side or from the weak side?
I'm not a CNA yet, but I always assist the person on his/her weak
side. Assisting on the strong side doesn't make much sense to me.
Here's a passage from my textbook (Mosby's):
Stand at the person's weak side while he or she gains balance. [...] Help the person walk. Walk to the side and slightly behind the person on the person's weak side. [...] Encourage the person to use the hand rail on his or her strong side.
Last edit by zooz on Aug 25, '07
: Reason: Added more from textbook.