Dressing the Patient

Upon entering the patient’s room, politely greet the occupant, introduce yourself and then explain what you are going to do. Go to the bathroom to wash your hands before continuing. Make sure that you closed the curtain after reentering the room and that the bed is up and locked with the rails down. Mention the weather if applicable (if they need to wear warmer clothes, explain why), and allow the patient a choice of color in the clothing if possible.

Put a disposable towel on the floor under the patient’s feet. Assuming that they are only wearing the standard issue gown, you will first put on the underwear, only pulling it up to their knees. Next are the socks and then pants which should also only be pulled up to the knees. Then, put on and tie their shoes. Explain to the patient that you will need to lift them up to finish their dressing and give them a count to know when. Remember that many patients will have a weak side that you have accommodate for, and always lift them while supporting from that side.

Quickly pull up the underwear and pants while the patient is up out of the bed and then gently guide them back down. Wait until they are back on the bed before fastening the pants. Place a drape across the top part of the body before continuing. Remove the nightgown, undressing from the strong to weak side if they have one. After that, start putting on the shirt, from weak to strong side, doing all the work on the weak. The shirts will tie in the back, so after placing both arms in the proper holes, remove the drape. Lastly, finish tying the shirt.

Politely ask the patient if there is anything else they need. If not, make sure they have their call light within reach before leaving the room. Wash your hands and dispose of the drape (with the dirty linen) and towel (trash) before reporting in.