Using a Gait Belt (Nursing)

by Samantha Rhea

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    00:04 So now let's talk about a skill with an ambulatory client. When you hear that word ambulate or ambulatory all that means is the patient can walk themselves, sometimes though they need a little support so a gait belt is a really great piece equipment to make sure they stay safe. So first off what do we need? Non-slip socks or shoes is really important because if the patient's going to be walking down the hall we don't want them having anything slippery on their feet and next don't forget your gait belt. This is a really great tool for something to hold on to when you're ambulating the client. Now before we get started don't forget your perfor* to perform your hand hygiene, provide your privacy and make sure you let your patient know what's going to happen next. Now this is important before we get started to assist the client in a sitting position on the chair or maybe at the side of the bed, we sometimes call this the dangle position. Now before they get going make sure the clients on their non-slip socks or shoes are on so make sure those are on before you guys go.

    01:11 Now we want to go ahead and before we get started put that gait belt around the client's waist, this can go over any of their clothing that they have. Now we want this snug but not too snug, we should be able to slide an open hand between the gait belt and the patient so this is to make sure it's snug and it fits. Now before we get going as the nurse if we're going to walk them we want to position yourself facing the client, we can grasp both sides of the gait belt and assist the client to the standing position now this is where we're going to use our legs here, grab the gait belt, have them help us and move upwards. Now if the client can help stand, make sure they are balanced before we get going. Now this is a good time to keep an underhand grip on the gait belt in the center on the patient's back like you see in the image here, this is a really great position because if the patient gets off balance you've got a place to hold them or if they need lower to the floor you can use this gait belt and slowly lower them to the ground if needed.

    02:16 Now before we set them back into the bed, we want to stand facing the client again with both hands on both sides of the gait belt and assist them slowly back to a seated position. Now make sure you hold on to them tight as you assist them down and lower them into that seated position. Now once they're seated now we can take that gait belt off, we can assist them back in that comfortable position if they're in bed make sure we put those side rails back up, perform hand hygiene and document our procedure.

    02:50 Welcome to using a gait belt, so clearly today I'm going to be your patient and we're going to show you the use of a gait belt so we're going to use it today, Dean's going to assist me and he's going to use the gait belt to help me stand, show you how to ambulate with it and also to put back in a sitting position. gait belt is a great resource for you as a nurse, this is a great resource to grab onto instead of under the patient's arms for example and that way we don't have to injure the patient. Okay so now I'm going to show you the gait belt itself, as you see it's snugly around my waist now clearly we don't want it way too tight so you want to be able to grab underneath the gait belt and be able to make a fist and so we want ample room to do that however, the gait belt obviously isn't so loose that it goes all the way up underneath my arms when Dean is using it to help me sit or stand. Okay so now that we've got our gait belt on a good size and a good comfortability here, Dean's going to use it to help me stand.

    03:51 So notice he's got a good underhand grip also notice when Dean is down he's using his legs to help assist up, now at this point if your patient can, instruct them to put their hands on the side of the bed and assist up as well. Ready? Are you ready? Yes, on the count of three. Okay! On three, one, two, three. Great! So that would be how we assist to stand so now this gives Dean a really great place to grab onto instead of your shoulders or pulling on the patient's arm for example now once we're standing if Dean was going to ambulate or walk down the hall with me, he's got a great grip here so he uses an underhand grip and he's going to hold on to this as we walk down the hall for support. Now gait belts are really great for this because let's say I go to fall, he's got something to hold on to that will hold on to my trunk to slowly lower me to the floor or a chair or somewhere safe so that's showing how we're going to use it for ambulation. Now Dean's going to use the same gait belt and help assist me to sit back on the bed.

    04:58 Okay, so you see again, he's got this snuggly on both sides and then I'm just going to follow Dean's direction.

    05:04 Okay, we're going to sit down on the count of three okay! Ready one, two, three, great! Thank you.

    05:12 So with Dean you notice he used his legs, I as the client have them instruct them to reach back to the bed too so they know where they're at and they safely can set.

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Using a Gait Belt (Nursing) by Samantha Rhea is from the course Using Safe and Effective Transfer Techniques (Nursing).

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Ensure the client is wearing non-slip shoes or socks
    2. Ensure the client has a walker
    3. Ensure the client's blood pressure is within normal limits
    4. Ensure the client is alert and oriented to place, date, and time
    1. Wrap the gait belt around the client's waist over their clothing
    2. Grasp both sides of the gait belt to assist the client to the standing position
    3. Ensure your open hand can slide between the client and the gait belt
    4. Keep a grip on the gait belt in the center of the client's abdomen
    5. Stand to the side of the client while assisting them to a standing position
    1. Keep an underhand grip on the gait belt in the center of the client’s back.
    2. Bending at the hips is the best way to assist the client to a standing position.
    3. Pull the client into a sitting position while grabbing the back of their gait belt.
    4. Walk in front of the client while ambulating them with a gait belt.

    Author of lecture Using a Gait Belt (Nursing)

     Samantha Rhea

    Samantha Rhea

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