Taking care of patients’ hair and nails is a part of their well being. It’s not about looks but about making sure they feel comfortable, dignified and confident. As Certified Nurse Assistants (CNAs) you have a role in providing these services.

Why Hair and Nail Care Matters

Hair and nail care goes beyond appearance. It contributes to the patients hygiene, comfort and emotional well being creating an environment for healing.

Necessary Supplies

To ensure a hair and nail care routine gather the following supplies;

  •  Two towels
  •  Emery nail file
  •  Orange wood stick (cuticle pusher)
  •  Lotion
  •  Emesis basin
  •  Washcloth
  •  Comb

Steps for Hair and Nail Care

Step 1. Building Trust with Patients

Effective communication and showing respect are crucial. Introduce yourself, explain the procedure clearly and obtain consent.

Step 2. Respecting Privacy

Maintain patient dignity by ensuring their privacy during the process. Close. Doors, as necessary to create a space.

Step 3. Hand Hygiene and Glove Usage

Prioritize infection prevention by washing your hands and wearing gloves as needed.

Step 4.Patient Identification

Confirm the patient’s identity to ensure that you’re providing care to the person.

Step 5. Preparing the Work Area

Organize the supplies on a tray covered with a towel creating an orderly workspace.

Step 6. Adjusting the Bed Position

If the patient’s condition allows, raise the head of the bed to around 60 degrees, for accessibility.

Step 7. Ensuring Patient Comfort

Put a towel on the patient’s chest. Ask about their hair preferences to ensure they are comfortable.

Step 8. Nail Care Preparation

Soak the patient’s hands in a basin filled with water at a temperature.

Step 9. Hair Care Procedure

Start untangling hair from the ends. Gradually work your way up using a comb to manage knots and tangles.

Step 10. Hand Hygiene during Procedure

Remove your hands from the basin. Pat them dry with a washcloth before proceeding with nail care.

Step 11. Cleaning and Shaping Nails

Cleanse nails by swiping under them using a wood stick. Carefully file fingernails using an Emery nail file.

Step 12. Moisturizing Hands

Apply an amount of lotion to your hands. If desired gently massage the patient’s hands.

Step 13.Hygiene and Cleaning

Thoroughly. Gently dry the emesis basin and other tools before storing them 

Step 14. Adjusting the Bed and Call Light

Ensure comfort by adjusting the bed according to their preferences. Place the call light within reach for them.

Step 15. Respecting Patient Dignity and Comfort

When performing grooming tasks maintain communication and use privacy barriers to uphold the patients dignity.

Step 16. Organizing Personal Belongings

Always communicate your actions when accessing belongings, for supplies while also respecting their privacy using barriers.

Step 17. Careful Handling of Towels

Use techniques when placing or removing chest towels to prevent any particles from coming into contact with the patient’s face.

Step 18. Proper Placement of Call Light

Never leave a patient without ensuring they have access to their call light. Physically place it in their hand to make sure they can reach it easily.

Essential Guidelines for Patient Grooming

Incorporate these principles into your routine when caring for patients ensuring an effective approach to grooming tasks;

Use Protective Barriers

When stowing away items or personal belongings consistently utilize protective barriers like folded paper towels to maintain cleanliness while protecting both the patients belongings and the care environment.

Transparent Communication

Prioritize communication with the patient throughout the grooming process promoting an approach that respects their preferences and needs.

Always make sure to inform the patients about your actions and intentions. For example when you need to get supplies from their belongings it’s important to explain why you’re doing so.

Taking Care with Towel Application

When putting on or taking off a chest towel be careful and thoughtful. Roll the towel downwards and away from the patient’s face when applying or removing it. This method helps prevent any particles from drifting towards the patient ensuring their comfort and hygiene.

Ensuring Access to Call Light

Never underestimate the importance of the call light. Before ending your interaction with a patient, ensure that they have access to it. Physically place the call light within their reach so they can promptly request assistance if needed.

These practices highlight the principles of patient centered care demonstrating your dedication to their well being, dignity and comfort. By following these guidelines you contribute to creating an environment of trust and respect in your caregiving approach.

In conclusion

As Certified Nurse Assistants your expertise goes beyond care. It encompasses taking care of patients’ overall well being. Properly attending to hair and nail care as basic grooming practices are not just practical aspects of healthcare but also meaningful gestures of compassion and respect that significantly contribute to a patients recovery journey.

By adhering to these principles and ensuring the well being and respect of patients you are improving the standard of care. Positively influencing the lives of those entrusted to your care.