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Transfer patient from bed to wheelchair with a transfer belt CNA Skill

Keeping patients moving is an important for providing mobility and maintaining their health. For many elderly patients and people with mobility issues, getting them from their bed to a wheelchair can be difficult and runs the risk of causing a fall. Falls can result in severe injuries and that’s why CNAs have to learn the skill of using a transfer belt, also known as a gait belt. 

To learn all the necessary steps for this skill, please watch this perineal care on a female CNA video for a complete demonstration. 


How to transfer a patient from their bed to a wheelchair CNA Steps for Skills Exam

The process for transferring a patient from a bed to a wheelchair 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 the wheelchair in close proximity to the patient’s bed, facing the side of the bed you will be transferring them from. Lock the wheels of the wheelchair before helping them into it.
  3. Ensure the patient is in non-slip footwear.
  4. Assist the patient to a sitting position on the edge of the bed and give them some time to adjust to the sitting position.
  5. Place the transfer belt around the patient’s waist without it being too loose or too tight to cause discomfort or circulation issues.
  6. Help the patient get a foot to the floor before you begin the transfer.
  7. Discuss a signal with the patient for when you want them to try to stand up, like counting to three.
  8. Standing in front of the patient, hold the belt from both of the arms with your hands in the upward position. Brace the patient’s legs at the same time to keep them solid while they try to stand.
  9. Grip the belt tightly when the patient tries to stand and assist them by pulling them up.
  10. Maintain your balance as you have the patient stand up and assist them as they shift toward the chair. Move them carefully so that their back faces the wheelchair and their legs touch the front of the seat.
  11. Have the patient sit in a comfortable position with their back solidly against the backrest.
  12. Open and slowly remove the transfer belt.
  13. Ask whether the patient is comfortable, if not, help them adjust to a comfortable position. 
  14. 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 transfer a patient from a bed to a wheelchair are in compliance. The procedure in different states and from different test providers can vary slightly and greatly affect your score.