CNA Equipment

On the job you will come across many different types of machinery or equipment that you will learn to use.  All of the equipment is meant to make your job easier, preserve your body, and to prevent injury to residents.

The largest piece of machinery you may come across is a type of lift. Lifts come in different forms and are used every day in every facility.  The types of lifts are used for different types of transfers.  Some lifts are installed in the ceiling of rooms – these are used for residents that are very heavy or by request.  Residents that are too heavy for the free rolling Hoyer type lifts are usually in rooms with ceiling lifts because their weight has or may tip a Hoyer type lift.

Hoyer lifts are electric lifts that have hooks designed to slip into loops on canvas pads.  The pads create a sling type seat. You will use a Hoyer lift to roll by the chair of a resident, lift them in the air, then roll to the bed. This is the most common lift in a nursing home.

We are all familiar with wheelchairs, but there are different types. You will see regular wheelchairs, larger chairs that look like lawn chairs, and also a type of wheelchair that is called a geri-chair.  The last chairs are very similar to a large, leather covered lounge chair with small wheels on the bottom. They lean far back like a recliner and are used for residents that are otherwise bedridden.  These chairs can be hard to maneuver.

Shower chairs are built from PVC pipe and have wheels.  Their seat is usually a toilet seat. The reason for this is exactly what you would expect – in a shower some residents experience a bowel or bladder stimulating effect from the water.  Ignore the mess and spray water to wash the results down the drain. Shower beds are much the same as shower chairs, except they are shaped like a bed. The ‘bed’ part of the device is made of a type of mesh that allows the water and soap to flow through.

You will also be exposed to other items such as gloves, masks, protective clothing, and safety glasses. These are used to protect you and residents from infection.

One lift that isn’t always covered by informational articles is the bath chair lift.  Not all residents like to take baths in the large tubs that facilities own, but there are a few that prefer this method of bathing.  The bath lift is a large tub that has a lift attached to one end. A resident sits in the chair, nude, while the aide secures them in, then lifts them into the tub.  The lift goes quite high to reach over the top of the tub, which is one reason many residents will avoid this method of being cleaned.

No matter what equipment you use, be sure to follow all instructions.  If you come across a piece of machinery that does not work properly, follow your facility’s tag out procedure.