Bathing Pts Question

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    I have been nursing for about a year now on night shift, and one thing has been bothering me for awhile. If a Pt is not incontinent and filthy why are we bathing them at night. I have had many Pts that are alert and oriented state(Not a vent Pt) "No I do not want a bath or my back cleaned." and then day shift complain saying "That's not okay with me, I am going to bathe them if they like it or not." Is that not wrong, a Pt can refuse right? In comparison I only take a shower once every two days(Unless needed), and do perfectly fine, and would be ****** if someone woke me up to bathe me at 3am in the morning. Any-who what is everyone's thoughts on this.
  2. 8 Comments so far...

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    This is a problem in my ICU too. We are technically only supposed to bathe vented pts at night, but some day shifters will give you heck if the AOx3 patients aren't bathed. To me, it's stupid. If a patient refuses, then they refuse. We use a special soap called Hibiclense (it's chlorohexidine) and is supposed to kill germs. I suppose it decreases the rate of CAUTIs and infections and such, so I understand why it's a daily thing. A lot of the new nurses on my unit get anxiety over having to tell the next nurse the bath isn't done because some make such a big deal out of it. People need to calm down and put themselves in the patients' and other nurses shoes.
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    I absolutely hate bed baths. It is my ONLY dislike in the ICU. At my hospital, the patient has the right to refuse a bed bath or they can do it themselves if they want to. You had better be sure you offer it though, because the next nurse will sometimes ask the patient how they tolerated the bath. If there is a brand new patient who is not stable, I will definitely hold off on the bath unless they are going to surgery the next day or something.

    The main point of baths is to help reduce infection, I dont really know how much that water and tiny bit of soap on that crunchy washcloth effects the amount of bacteria, but evidence-based practice and all that jazz. Somebody would be a billionaire if they could invent a quick way to clean a patient/ sheets AND effectively disinfect.......
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    We are mandated to give baths every night to all ICU patients as well. We even have to bathe them with chlorhexadine. Some patients refuse, and unless they smell we don't usually push the issue. However, the charge nurses and supervisors do audits on who gives their baths and if we chart "patient refused" they are not happy. I understand if the patient is going for an invasive procedure the next day that a bath is necessary. But otherwise in my opinion it is just another contributing factor to ICU psychosis.
    libbyliberal and morte like this.
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    we are intense about bathing patients in my icu. when patients are admitted they get bathed, when they come back from the OR they are bathed, literally one nurse is hooking the patient up to the monitor and another is starting to bath, while the nurse getting the patient and doctors are assessing the patient. However if a patient is a/o x3 and they refuse we generally don't force them and for them when I work nights i try to offer their bath early in my shift like before midnight. our doctors joke with us and refer to our baths as soon as the patient gets to the room as our " life saving bath" lol
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    Baths! Ugh. Hate them with a passion. We bathe all of our vented patients at night as well, and that is usually when shtf around here. Patient is doing fine, I'm getting the vasopressors titrated down, vitals are looking good....I give a bath and bam! O2 sats down, bp tanks, afib rvr....pretty much anything that can go wrong usually does. Baths kill people ;P
    libbyliberal likes this.
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    Quote from NavyVet
    Baths! Ugh. Hate them with a passion. We bathe all of our vented patients at night as well, and that is usually when shtf around here. Patient is doing fine, I'm getting the vasopressors titrated down, vitals are looking good....I give a bath and bam! O2 sats down, bp tanks, afib rvr....pretty much anything that can go wrong usually does. Baths kill people ;P
    We call them BODs...bath of death. Happens a lot.
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    This has been a source of controversy in my unit as well. We don't have a set policy, but we tend to agree on each nurse giving one bath per shift. (We are a medical ICU, I believe are surgical units require baths for all pts every night) Occasionally, I will bath both of my pts- IF I feel it is appropriate.
    I think it is inappropriate to bathe someone in the middle of the night unless they are completely snowed- and even then they typically have a family asleep in the room and I like to let them get some rest as well if the patient is stable.
    If I bathe a pt, it is before midnight or after 5. If they are A&O I will allow them to refuse if they want- especially if they are going to transfer in the AM to a room where they can take a shower themselves.
    If my patient is too unstable, I wont risk bathing them (may wipe down the front of them if there's time)
    Also, if I am extremely busy, I probably wont bathe anyone, because when it comes down to it it's an ICU, and my priority is keeping people alive, not squaky clean.
    I've seen WAY too many baths-of-death.
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    It drives me insane as well.. Forget the fact the pt is not stable or AAOx3 and refuses; you better get that bath done... We do foley care qsomanyhours and that drives me insane as well.. Most of these lil old men have never had their penis messed with so much in a 24 hour period, oh and lets not forget the ladies. EBP is daily people !!!


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