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RNA Training - Range of Motion

Restorative Nursing Assistants provide range of motion exercises that is vital for the health and well being of Residents. Despite the fact that they sound straightforward, they should always be done correctly for the resident to get precisely what they need from them.

By providing restorative care you will be helping residents return to their highest level of physical and psychological functioning, which promotes independence.

Physical Goals of Restorative Care

  • Maintain a residents present level of function
  • To improve or restore their physical function
  • To encourage resident independence and self care

Restorative Nursing Assistants have responsibilities in participating in residents care planning, observing and reporting residents response to the care, following the care plan, encouraging residents to follow care plan and observing and reporting early signs and symptoms of complications.

Performing passive range of motion checks on a resident can indicate the progress of the their recovery and prevent complications from stiff joints.

There are different types of range of motion exercises. Three to be exact, they are:

Active Range of Motion
Active range of motion is used when a resident is able to do full range of motion to one or more parts of their body without the physical help of another. Restorative Nursing assistants may simply have to remind the person to do these exercises and to watch the person to make sure that they are doing these exercises in the correct way.

Active Assistive Range of Motion
Active, assistive range of motion is used when a resident needs some help doing full range of motion to one or more parts of the body because their muscles are too weak or stiff to do these exercises on their own.  The RNA will have to help the resident with their range of motion. Active assistive and passive range of motion exercises are done in a gentle, slow way so you do not hurt or harm the joints and bones. If they have pain, stop. These types of exercises are NOT done to the point of pain.

Passive Range of Motion
Passive range of motion is used for residents who cannot move one or more parts of their body at all. Residents that may be in a coma would benefit from passive range of motion to all joints. The restorative nursing assistant will have to do full range of motion for the person without any help from the patient or resident.

Always follow the care plan and know the goals for the resident.  Make sure whether a movement is contraindicated for any joint, Become familiar with the resident’s diagnoses, abilities, limitations and always use good body mechanics for yourself and the resident. Elevate the bed to a comfortable working height. When the exercise routine is over be sure to leave the individual in a comfortable and relaxed position.