Using a Bed Scale

Goal: The patient’s weight is assessed accurately, without injury, and the patient experiences minimal discomfort.

1. Check medical order or nursing care plan for frequency of weight measurement. More frequent pulse measurement may be appropriate based on nursing judgment. Obtain
the assistance of a second caregiver, based on patient’s mobility and ability to cooperate with procedure.

2. Perform hand hygiene and put on PPE, if indicated.

3. Identify the patient.

4. Close curtains around bed and close door to room if possible. Discuss procedure with patient and assess patient’s ability to assist with the procedure.

5. Place a cover over the sling of the bed scale.

6. Attach the sling to the bed scale. Lay the sheet or bath blanket in the sling. Turn the scale on. Adjust the dial so that weight reads 0.0.

7. Adjust bed to comfortable working position, usually elbow height of the caregiver (VISN 8, 2009). Position one caregiver on each side of the bed, if two caregivers are present. Raise side rail on the opposite side of the bed from where the scale is located, if not already in place. Cover the patient with the sheet or bath blanket. Remove other covers and any pillows.

8. Turn patient onto his or her side facing the side rail, keeping his or her body covered with the sheet or blanket. Remove the sling from the scale. Roll sling long ways. Place rolled sling under patient, making sure the patient is centered in the sling.

9. Roll patient back over sling and onto other side. Pull sling through, as if placing sheet under patient, unrolling sling as it is pulled through.

10. Roll scale over the bed so that arms of scale are directly over patient. Spread the base of the scale. Lower arms of the scale and place arm hooks into holes on the sling.

11. Once scale arms are hooked onto the sling, gradually elevate the sling so that the patient is lifted up off of the bed. Assess all tubes and drains, making sure that none have tension placed on them as the scale is lifted. Once the sling is no longer touching the bed, ensure that nothing else is hanging onto the sling (e.g., ventilator tubing, IV tubing). If any tubing is connected to the patient, raise it up so that it is not adding any weight to the patient.

12. Note weight reading on the scale. Slowly and gently, lower patient back onto the bed. Disconnect scale arms from sling. Close base of scale and pull it away from the bed.

13. Raise the side rail. Turn patient to the side rail. Roll the sling up against the patient’s backside.

14. Raise the other side rail. Roll patient back over the sling and up facing the other side rail. Remove sling from bed. Remove gloves, if used. Raise remaining side rail.

15. Cover the patient and help him or her to a position of comfort. Place the bed in the lowest position.

16. Remove disposable cover from sling and discard in appropriate receptacle.

17. Remove additional PPE, if used. Perform hand hygiene.

18. Replace scale and sling in appropriate spot. Plug scale into electrical outlet.


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