CNA Skills Partial Bath Upper Body

The CNA skill of giving a partial bath for the upper body will likely be tested on your state’s CNA exam. Being able to properly and safely give your residents a partial upper body bath will be an important skill that you will likely utilize daily when working as a CNA.  

To learn all the necessary steps for this skill, please watch this CNA Skill Partial Bath Upper Body for a complete demonstration of the skill. 

CNA Skill – Partial Bath

The process of performing the skill of giving a resident a partial bath 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. Lift up the resident’s head and place a towel behind their head.
  4. Place a blanket on the resident to keep them dry.
  5. Now carefully remove the gown of the resident, preventing the resident from getting overexposed and too cold. 
  6. Have the resident touch the water in the water tub so they are comfortable with the temperature. 
  7. Start with the resident’s face, starting with the inner corner of the eye and swiping out. Use one stroke across the resident’s face to clean their head area. 
  8. Change out your water and gloves. 
  9. Again, have the resident touch the water in the water tub so they are comfortable with the temperature.
  10. Move to cleaning the resident’s arms, moving from top to bottom from the shoulder down the arm. 
  11. Use a different corner of each towel, changing out the soiled towel with a new towel once you have used each corner. 
  12. Change out your water and gloves. 
  13. Again, have the resident touch the water in the water tub so they are comfortable with the temperature.
  14. Move onto cleaning the torso, using the same technique of dipping wash cloth into water, soap, and using each of the 4 corners of the different areas of the chest, breast, under breast and the abdomen area in a consistent stroke pattern. 
  15. Recover the resident with their gown after you change your gloves. 
  16. 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 Partial Bath are in compliance. The procedure in different states and from different test providers can vary slightly and greatly affect your score.