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Indirect Care CNA Skill

It can be easy to focus on the obvious tasks that CNAs perform like measuring vital signs but it’s very possible the most important CNA skill is indirect care. What is indirect care? Indirect care is the way in which CNAs interact with the resident, including respecting their rights, privacy, and security. Prometric tests this as a part of their CNA skills exam. Just as important as your clinical skills, a CNA’s skills at indirect care in providing safety and comfort can be the reason test takers pass or fail their certification exam. With that in mind, it’s important to know this skill forward and backward. 

To learn more about the proper steps, please follow along with this CNA indirect skills video demonstration. 

CNA indirect skill procedure

  1. Communicate to the resident, greet them and introduce yourself. Explain whatever procedure you are about to perform while explaining each step of the procedure.
  2. Respect the patient’s rights at all times. Always announce yourself before entering the resident’s room by knocking on the door, pull the curtain before performing care such as perineal care or performing a bath, respect the preferences of the patient without pushing your preferences upon them.
  3. Make certain you’re providing safety and comfort to the resident. This means that you use a gait belt when transfering the resident, have the bed lowered to make entering and exiting it easy for them, always remembering to lock the bed wheels, raise side rails before leaving them to avoid falls, and always keep the call light within reach.
  4. Ensure the resident’s hygiene at all times. Maintain proper hand hygiene by washing your hands whenever necessary. Use gloves for all necessary procedures such as perineal care, assisting with a bedpan, catheter care, etc. Always dispose of your gloves and soiled clothing according to approved protocol. Additionally, always remember to avoid having bedding touch the ground when making a change and ALWAYS use clean equipment when performing care.

As a nursing assistant it’s critical to provide this level of care to the resident to maintain infection control and their long term health while under your care. It’s recommended that you practice performing indirect care regularly to pass the skills portion of your CNA state exam. * Please be sure to consult the testing materials provided by the skills test provider in your state to ensure that their steps for how a nurse aide is expected to perform indirect skills are in compliance. The procedure in different states and from different test providers can vary slightly and greatly affect your score.