CNA Skills Set: Measuring Respiration Rate

CNA Skills Set: Measuring Respiration Rate

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In the next section of our CNA Skill Set Test Study Guide, we will be covering the procedures for the measuring of a patient’s respiration. While this is a very simple activity, there are some steps that many potential CNAs miss during their exam.

From previous proctors and their recommendations, we have found that it is usually the easy ones that people make the most mistakes. So, don’t just assume that you are prepared for this simple step and just skip it. Give it the necessary time and practice. For educational purposes, our procedures are below:

Remember, like all of our procedures, you should always start by entering the room, announcing that you are there and that you will be doing the procedure. Then wash your hands and verify that the room is prepped.

Respirations Measurement Steps

  1. First, place the resident into a comfortable position that will allow you to see the movement of their chest. In most cases this will be in a sitting position or in a supine position.
  2. You can either focus on their chest, abdomen or if you have been given permission, place your hand on their chest and watch the rise and fall of their chest as they breathe.
  3. Ensure that while you are counting that you talk to the patient so as to distract them. This way you will get a much more natural breathing pattern from the patient. If they aren’t distracted they may actually concentrate on their breathing and this will affect your results.
  4. Count the number of respirations for 30 seconds. If it is abnormal, then do it again for 60 seconds. Remember that one respiration is one inhale and one exhale.
  5. Record your results accordingly, making sure you include the rate, whether it was shallow or deep breathing patterns, whether or not they were under stress or relaxed and any other aspects that your facility would require of you in this procedure.

Video Exercise to Help you Visualize and Practice this Section

This is an extremely good video because the nurse in this video is teaching it just like you would see it in your CNA practical exam. Notice the classroom settings, and the “gaming” of the test. What we mean is that when she enters, she even announces that this procedure will be done for “testing purposes.” You should do the same and take note when you watch her. She clearly has experience as a proctor and did a marvelous job.

CNA Skills Set: Measuring Respiration Rate by

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