The nurse is teaching a patient with a leg cast and crutches to walk down a staircase. When descending stairs, the patient should first:
• To descend a staircase with crutches, the patient should hold the handrail and the crutches should both be held on the unaffected (stronger) side, if possible. (If there is no hand rail, one crutch goes under each arm.)
• First, the affected (weaker) leg is moved with the crutches to the next step.
• Next, the unaffected (stronger) leg is moved down. Repeat this procedure for each step.