Assisting A Resident With A Bedpan

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Hi there and welcome to our training series. I’m Nick, one of the team members here at myCNAjobs.

Today’s training session is to help CNAs and Caregivers learn how to assist a resident or loved one with a bedpan. This is a common responsibility for any patient who is bed bound. Knowing this skill is essential even if your current client doesn’t use a bedpan -- it’s a baseline skill that should be known so you can be prepared for any situation. Understanding how to best use a bedpan will ensure your client or patient has the best experience by preventing discomfort, embarrassment, and unwanted messes.

So, let’s dive in.  Today we’re going to talk about:

  1. Sanitizing & Introduction to using a bedpan
  2. Supplies Needed
  3. Preparing your Setting
  4. Step by Step Tutorial

#1 - Sanitizing/Introduction
To start, proper sanitation is required to prevent the spread of germs. Before introducing yourself to your patients, wash hands thoroughly. Any time you are leaving the room you must wash hands before leaving and also hand the resident the call light for safety purposes if you have one.

#2 - Supplies Needed
Gather your supplies neatly, and as a reminder wash your hands when you leave the room for the supplies. You will need the following: protective barrier to place supplies on and to place under patient, 2 sets of gloves, paper towels and toilet paper, blanket, bedpan

#3 - Preparing Setting
Make sure the resident is granted privacy by either closing the blinds or curtains, lock the bed wheels for safety, and raise the bed to your work level to avoid hurting your own back.


#4 - Step by Step Tutorial

  1. Wash Hands
  2. When arriving to the room, introduce yourself; it is important because getting consent from the resident will help them feel more comfortable and compliant. Begin by introducing yourself, “Hi I am (your name), is it okay if I come in?” Check the rest pad and let the resident know you are there to help them with the bedpan.
  3. Wash hands before leaving the room. Come back and neatly spread supplies in the order of use
    1. Protective barriers
    2. Blanket
    3. 2 sets of gloves
    4. Paper towels
    5. Toilet paper
    6. Bed pan
  4. As mentioned, prepare your setting. Ensure privacy by closing the curtains. Ensure safety by locking the wheels on the bed and adjusting the bed to your height to protect yourself.
  5. Make patient feel comfortable and promote independence. You can achieve this by allowing them to help you put on bath sheet to keep their bed sheets clean and sliding those down to the foot of the bed.
  6. Assist moving patient closer to you in all 3 sections of the body: head and shoulders, midsection, and legs. Ask patient to cross arms and legs. Let the patient know that at the count of 3 you will be flipping them over to their side. They are able to hold on to the railing for support and ensure they remain covered up.
  7. Put first set of gloves on. Tuck protective barrier under her in the midsection area. Grab the bedpan and remember to have the flatter side up top to go against her back and the rear area will be placed closer to the crotch area. Either rest bedpan on the bed and have patient roll on to it OR placing the bedpan on her back first and then holding it against them until they roll onto the bedpan. Remove gloves.
  8. Following the bedpan placement, raise the bed so the patient is in a sitting position. Raise it to about a 30-45 degree angle. Give the patient the call light so they can have privacy while using the bedpan and let them know to press on it when they are done.Also to promote independence let them know you will slide the side table with tissues for them incase they are able to wipe themselves. Let them know you will be back in 5 minutes or when they press the call light. Wash your hands, and leave the room.
  9. After time has passed, knock on the door and let patient know you are back. Ask whether they were able to wipe themselves. Set two paper towels aside for bedpan first either on nearby chair or counter. Then, IF NOT, get three wet tissues to wipe your patient and 2 extra dry tissues to dry up.
  10. Put second set of gloves on and lower bed back to your work height. Let patient know they will be rolling up to their left side again. This time around, you must use right hand to hold down bedpan to prevent it from tipping over while rolling the patient. Count to three again to roll her and ensure she is still covered by her blankets. Put a paper towel on the bedpan and place on the paper towels left for placement. (It is important not to let waste exposed).
  11. Let the patient know you will be using wet tissues to wipe them. Get one tissue and wipe the buttcheek front to back, dispose of the tissue either with a plastic bag or in the trash. Use the other wet tissue to wipe the buttcheek from front to back again and repeat with the third to clean right down the middle front to back. With the extra go right down the middle again and finally use the last dry tissue to pat dry front to back again.
  12. Remove the protective barrier. Remove gloves and sanitize hands again. Help patient back to front.
  13. Give the patient the call light while you let them know you are going to go dispose of the items. With gloves proceed to gather supplies that will be disposed. Take all of the paper towels and tissues to the toilet and observe waste for any abnormalities and dump to the toilet.
  14. Remove gloves and wash hands again. The last step will be to proceed back into the room and have patient assist putting blanket back on and removing the bath sheet and place in linen bowl.
  15. Finally, get patient comfortable and ask if there is anything else that they would like you to do. Give the patient their call light, double check that the wheels of the bed are locked and center patient. Say good bye and sanitize hands then leave the room.

Well, that’s it folks. I hope this was helpful to teach you a few best practices on how to help your residents use a bedpan. If you like what you saw here today, there are more training videos and free resources available at or call us to talk to a recruiter directly at 312-275-3959.

Assisting a resident with a bedpan is a common responsibility for Caregivers and CNAs working with a patient who is bed bound, both in home care or in a long-term care setting. This video will help you understand how to best use a bedpan, ensuring your client has the best experience by preventing discomfort, embarrassment, and unwanted messes. We’ll cover an introduction to bedpan use and proper sanitation, supplies needed, preparing your setting, and a step-by-step tutorial.