Ep18: Canes and Walkers (COAL, WWAL)

nursing mnemonic podcast








Wandering Wilma Always Late







Nursing Mnemonics

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Podcast Transcription

Alright, so this next mnemonic, actually, these next 2 mnemonics are to help you remember canes and walkers and how to teach families and patients how to use them appropriately. And this is something I always mix stuff in school, I definitely got these questions wrong in nursing school because I can never remember which one, you know, which leg with the cane and what not. So, I hope this help you, so you don’t miss these questions that I miss. So, when a patient is utilizing a cane, it’s important to instruct them to keep the cane on the opposite side of the affected extremity. So, the way that you can remember, that is COAL, COAL, Cane Opposite Affected Leg, all you got to know. Cane Opposite Affected Leg. COAL. COAL. So, I hope you can keep that on your mind when you’re doing checking this out with your patients. And you know, and realistically, in the real world, you’re gonna be working very closely with physical therapy. So, when you are taking care of patients that are getting canes and walkers, you can definitely make sure that you’re taking part in the teaching that the physical therapist and the occupational therapist doing and reinforcing what they teach. Because ultimately, they should be doing the initial teaching and then you’re doing the reinforcing as the nurse. So, that’s something that’s really important to keep in mind.


So, patients could also go home with a walker. And when walking with a walker, the patient should always lift the walker as they lift their affected leg and it allows for the good leg to support the movement of the walker. So, that really makes sense. So, we’ve got this strong leg down and it is much more stable, so then you can move the walker effectively. So, the memory device is Wondering Wilma Always Late. Wondering Wilma Always Late. Walker with Affected Leg. Walker with Affected Leg. Wondering Wilma Always Late. Walker with Affected Leg. So, I hope that can help you remember which side and when to utilize the walker in your patients that are being sent home with canes and walkers.


This has been another episode of the nursing mnemonics podcast by NRSNG.com with your host, Katie Kleber, RN, CCRN. To grab all of our nursing cheat sheets, head over to NRSNG.com/freebies. That’s NRSNG.com/freebies. Thank you so much for being here today. We love you guys. We thank you so much. We want to see you guys succeed. Listen, we’re all in this together. Now, go out and be your best self today. Happy Nursing.

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