8.12 Skills Checklist: Ambulation From Wheelchair

1. Gather Supplies: Gait belt, wheelchair, nonskid footwear, and assistive devices if needed (walker or cane)

2. Routine Pre-Procedure Steps:

    • Knock on the client’s door.
    • Perform hand hygiene.
    • Introduce yourself and identify the resident.
    • Maintain respectful, courteous, and professional communication at all times. Provide for privacy.
    • Provide for privacy. Explain the procedure to the client.
    • Explain the procedure to the client.

3. Procedure Steps:

    • Check the brakes on the wheelchair to ensure they are locked.
    • Verify the resident is wearing nonskid footwear.
    • Properly place the gait belt around the resident’s waist.
    • Check the gait belt for tightness by slipping your fingers between the gait belt and the resident.
    • Ask the resident if they feel dizzy or light-headed.
    • Face the resident and place each of your feet in front of the resident’s feet to prevent them from slipping.
    • Instruct the resident to push up on the wheelchair arms on the count of three to assist with standing.
    • Count to three and assist the resident to a standing position.
    • Provide the resident’s assistive device, as needed.
    • Move to the weak side of the resident, slightly behind them. Hold the gait belt with your palms and fingertips pointing upwards.
    • Stabilize the resident as they ambulate for the desired duration.
    • Assist the resident to pivot/turn in front of the wheelchair.
    • Ensure the wheelchair brakes are locked.
    • Instruct the resident to grasp the arms of the wheelchair when the back of their knees touch the wheelchair seat.
    • Assist the resident to a seated position in the wheelchair.
    • Remove the gait belt.
    • Release the wheelchair brakes.

4. Post-Procedure Steps:

    • Check on resident comfort and ask if anything else is needed.
    • Ensure the bed is low and locked. Check the brakes.
    • Place the call light or signaling device within reach of the resident.
    • Open the door and privacy curtain.
    • Perform hand hygiene.
    • Document and report any skin issues, pain with movement, or any other changes noted with the resident.

View a YouTube video[1] of an instructor demonstration of ambulation from a wheelchair:


  1. Chippewa Valley Technical College. (2022, December 3). Ambulation From a Wheelchair. [Video]. YouTube. Video licensed under CC BY 4.0https://youtu.be/jtj95sPrc_k


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Nursing Assistant Copyright © by Chippewa Valley Technical College is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

Share This Book