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CNA Range of Motion Skill (Passive Range of Motion on one knee and ankle)

It’s important to have knowledge of range of motion exercises as CNAs often assist patients recovering from injuries, surgeries or other complications from stiff joints. Correctly performing passive range of motion exercises can help assess a patient’s progress in their recovery or help them avoid complications from contractures of their joints. Typically, these exercises are conducted prior to the patient taking their bath. As you work through the exercises, take note if the patient has difficulties. If so, notify the nursing staff.  

To learn all of the necessary steps for the CNA skills for range of motion exercises for knee and ankle, please watch this video demonstration. 


Passive Range of Motion Exercises CNA Skills Exam Process

The process for checking a patient’s passive range of motion for 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. Demonstrate to the exam proctor three different range of motion movements from the following list.

  • Flexion and extension
  • Abduction and adduction
  • Pronation and supination
  • Dorsal and plantar flexion
  • Opposition
  • Internal/External rotation
  • Radial deviation and ulnar deviation

3. When doing these range of motion exercises, you must support the joint itself or the proximal and distal ends of the extremity
4. Observe the patient’s reaction throughout each movement. 
5. If the patient demonstrates or verbalizes signs of pain, you must stop the movement. 
6. Perform your standard completion tasks – ensure the patient has a clean environment, ask if they are comfortable, give the patient their call light, wash your hands, and document the results.

* Please be sure to consult the testing materials provided by the skills test provider in your state to ensure that these steps for CNA’s performing range of motion exercises are in compliance. The procedure in different states and from different test providers can vary slightly and greatly affect your score.