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CNA Skill Back Rub

The CNA skill of giving a resident a massage and a back rub will likely be tested on your state’s CNA exam. Being able to properly and safely give your residents a back rub and massage is a skill that you will have to know when working as a CNA.  

To learn all the necessary steps for this skill, please watch this CNA Skill Massage for a complete demonstration of the skill.

CNA Skill Back Rub

The process of performing the skill of giving a resident a massage for a CNA skills exam is as follows:

  1. Perform the standard CNA beginning tasks. Knock before entering the patient’s room, greet the patient by name, introduce yourself, explain the task you are about to perform, close the privacy curtain, and wash your hands.
  2. Gather your supplies.
  3. Place blanket over the resident to keep them warm.
  4. Have the resident cross their arms and legs. 
  5. Move the patient closer to the side of the bed you are working on, doing it in three steps, top, mid and lower body. 
  6. On the count of three, roll the resident over on their side, having them hold the side rail for support. 
  7. Check the resident’s back first, checking for any abnormalities, such as lesions or cuts. 
  8. Apply lotion to your hands. 
  9. Working in a circular motion, around the resident’s spine. 
  10. Perform the massage for 3-5 minutes. 
  11. Once done, use a towel to pat dry the lotion. 
  12. Next, assist the resident on rolling back over on their back. 
  13. Perform your standard completion tasks – wash your hands, ensure the patient has a clean environment, ask if they are comfortable, give them their call light and close their privacy curtain.

* Please be sure to consult the testing materials provided by the skills test provider in your state to ensure that these steps for CNA Skill Back Rub are in compliance. The procedure in different states and from different test providers can vary slightly and greatly affect your score.