CNA Job Duties: Making and Changing a Patient’s Bedding

CNA Job Duties: Making and Changing a Patient’s Bedding

Making and changing beds for patients in hospitals and nursing homes is a quite common and routine job duty for most CNA’s. Most of the time changing the bedding should not be a difficult task, but it does require that you follow the instructions you learn during your CNA training to ensure that you are keeping everyone as safe as possible by preventing the spread of infections and other issues. As a CNA, you can’t change the bed at a hospital or nursing home in the same manner as you would at your house and just throw fresh sheets on quickly and be done with it because certain precautions and procedures must be followed. However, if you pay attention and learn the right procedure when you are in training, you should have no problem being able to make and change your patient’s bedding as a CNA.

Clean sheets help prevent infections

One of the most important reasons that the bedding is changed so frequently at hospitals and nursing homes is because clean sheets help prevent infections for the patient in the bed and spreading infections to other patients. Infections and the spread of infections are a major concern for hospitals and nursing homes and they are always looking for ways to prevent them. Routinely changing patient’s bedding properly goes a long way in helping with this goal.

Helps prevent bedsores

Unfortunately, many patients at hospitals and nursing homes have to spend most, if not all, of their time lying in bed because of an illness or limited physical ability. As a result, some patients can develop bedsores. Bedsores are simply injuries to the skin that are caused by extended pressure on that area of the skin. To help prevent bedsores, CNA’s can make sure that their patient’s sheets are clean, dry and wrinkle-free. Wrinkles cause more friction on the skin, so it is very important when making beds to ensure that they are as crisp and wrinkle-free as possible.

Patient is more comfortable with clean bedding

Clean sheets just help the patient feel more comfortable and improve their outlook. Even though a patient may be in a hospital or nursing home with a physical ailment, their mental state plays a big part in their recovery. Patients with clean sheets and a comfortable bed to stay in are generally going to have a more positive outlook when thinking about their stay and recovery.

Two methods for CNA’s to change patient bedding

1) Change bedding with an empty bed

The most common method used by CNA’s is to change a patient’s bedding while they are out of the bed. While this is not an overly complicated process, you will still need to follow directions regarding where gloves, how to dispose of the sheets and other instructions. Changing the bedding on an empty bed is easy, but don’t lose focus as mistakes can be made when CNA’s are not concentrating and following proper protocol.

2) Change bedding while bed is occupied

Changing the sheets on a bed that is occupied can be slightly more difficult, but it is still a manageable process as long as your follow what you learn in training. This process usually requires two people to ensure that it is done safely, but it essentially requires you to be able to roll the patient on their side and change the bedding. You should pay attention during training and make sure you are comfortable with performing this as it can be one of the more difficult clinical tasks you can be asked to do during your CNA certification exam. With enough preparation and practice though, you should be able to become an expert on changing the bedding on an occupied bed.

Changing bedding may seem simple, but pay attention to procedure during your CNA training

Changing the bedding should typically be a simple, routine task for a CNA. Yes, changing the bedding of an occupied bed poses a little more difficulty, but it shouldn’t be a problem if you practice during a training and remember the techniques that are taught. However, you do need to keep in mind what you learned during your CNA training while doing even the routine bed change. If you don’t follow proper protocol like wearing gloves and dispose of the dirty sheets properly, you could risk spreading infections to other patients. Just because a bed looks clean to your eye, doesn’t mean it always is.


  1. Hi you should coanctt the Arkansas Nurse Aide Registry at the Arkansas Department of Human Services Direct Phone Number located here: 501-682-1807 or the Automated Phone Line: 501-682-8484 In addition you can try to call Prometric to see about enrolling in a refresher course here: Phone: 800-818-8917 Hope this helps

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