The Brain Sheet

The CNA “brain sheet” serves two primary purposes:

  1. document care performed on your shift
  2. assist in providing a comprehensive report to your relief

If you’re a hospital CNA, you need a place to keep notes about your patient load – like who’s vented (on a ventilator) or not, who has a Foley, and other important things.  You can note which patients are due for baths/showers on your shift, what CBG’s are due on what frequency, and other useful details (who’s A&O, who has a PITA family, special/additional needs, how many staff needed for bed-to-chair or commode transfers or for turns, etc.).

Use color and/or highlighting to make important details stand out.  If your facility doesn’t provide a “brain sheet,” make your own format, including the following categories:

  1. patient’s room number
  2. code status
  3. nurse name and phone/pager number
  4. respiratory status (V=vent, T=trach, NC=nasal cannula and so on. . .)
  5. elimination status (F=Foley cath, U=urinal, BSC=bedside commode, BRP=bathroom privileges, etc.)
  6. capillary blood glucose (CBG) check information if that’s within your scope
  7. bath/linen change done or needed
  8. oral care schedule (vented or trached patients)
  9. turn schedule (dependent patients)
  10. notes for the next shift

If you get floated to another unit or floor suddenly, this is nice to have, as it can be handed off to the lucky person who gets your patients after you leave.


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