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Making an Occupied Bed

When a patient is unable to leave their bed, you will need to be able to change the bedding so that they are not left in soiled linens or left with uncomfortable bedding. Occupied bed making is a CNA skill that you can be tested on as part of your CNA skills exam. 

To learn all the necessary steps for this skill, please watch this occupied bed making CNA video for a complete demonstration. 

Occupied Bed Making CNA Steps for Skills Exam

The process for making an occupied bed during the 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. Place a blanket over the patient and ask them to hold it in place. Slide the top bedding out from beneath the blanket and put it in the dirty linen.
  3. Position the patient to one side of the bed and begin removing the bottom fitted sheet and roll it up beneath the patient.
  4. Take a clean fitted sheet and place it on the corners where you just removed the soiled sheet. Roll the sheet up and tuck it beneath the soiled sheet.
  5. Assist with gently rolling the patient in moving to the other side of the bed on top of the clean sheet you just put down.
  6. Now, with the other side of the bed free, you can finish removing the soiled sheet and extend the rest of the clean sheet across the bed and secure and flatten the sheet. 
  7. Put the soiled laundry in dirty linen.
  8. Place a new sheet on top of the privacy blanket, and then pull the blanket out from beneath the sheet and place it in the dirty linen
  9. Secure the top sheet under the foot of the mattress so that it is flat on both sides.
  10. Make hospital corners on each corner at the foot of the bed with the top sheet. 
  11. Loosen the sheet slightly so the patient’s feet have some room to move.
  12. Ask the patient if they can let you remove the pillow from beneath their head, remove the pillowcase without touching your uniform. 
  13. Place the used pillowcase into the dirty linen.
  14. Put a new pillowcase on the pillow, with the tag side going into the pillowcase.
  15. Place the pillow under the patient’s head with the opening facing away from the door. 
  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 CNAs to make an occupied bed are in compliance. The procedure in different states and from different test providers can vary slightly and greatly affect your score.