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CNA Measuring Urine Output Skill

For patients dealing with kidney-related health issues, it can be important to monitor and measure urinary output to make sure their kidneys are functioning correctly. As a CNA, your job is to assist in the early detection of urinary dysfunction. Identifying potential signs of infection can help prevent a patient from suffering major issues with their kidneys or other organs. With over 37 million adults in the United States suffering from kidney disease, it’s no surprise that you may be tested on this skill as part of your CNA exam. You can check a patient’s urinary output if they are either wearing an indwelling catheter or patients who are using a bedpan. The process is slightly different for each.

To learn all of the necessary steps for the CNA skill of measuring urinary output, please watch this video demonstration. 


To check urinary output for a patient with an indwelling catheter:

  1. Typical urinary output falls between 30-400 ccs per hour. Should a patient’s output fall out of this range, you will need to notify the nurse.
  2. You will also need to assess the appearance of the urine. Normal output should be clear to pale yellow in color. Any abnormalities should be reported to the nurse. Some common abnormalities include cloudy urine, unusual coloration, blood, strange odors, or sediment.
  3. Follow protocol for emptying or replacing the bag and then proceed to wash your hands.

CNA urinary output measurement skill procedure

The process for checking urinary output for a patient using a bedpan:

  1. Before recording and measuring urinary output, you’ll need to perform the standard beginning tasks as you would for other portions of the CNA skills exam. 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 then wash your hands.
  2. Once the patient is finished using the bedpan, make sure they have been given sufficient privacy.
  3. Wash your hands and put on a pair of gloves. 
  4. Lower the head of the bed so that it lays flat and you can turn the patient onto their side to remove the bedpan. Support the bedpan as you turn the patient to avoid a spill. Once the bedpan has been removed set it aside.
  5. Make certain the patient is sufficiently clean around their buttocks and genitals and then help the patient return to a comfortable position. 
  6. Measure the patient’s urine output, and then dispose of the urine as directed. 
  7. Remove your gloves, and wash your hands.
  8. Perform your standard completion tasks – ensure the patient has a clean environment, ask if they are comfortable, give the patient their call light.

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