Bed Baths, I dread giving them. - page 2

OK, so now I'm going to split my 0.6 FTE on our small rural hospital 6 bed CCU/Stepdown unit half and half, 12 hour days and 12 hour nights, since some rare weekday dayshifts opened up. I'm keeping... Read More

  1. by   GardenDove
    Hey thanks for these great tips. For anyone else, though, who has an urge to post a non-contributory comment, please refrain, thanks very much. :angel2:
  2. by   moongirl
    Quote from GardenDove
    Hey thanks for these great tips. For anyone else, though, who has an urge to post a non-contributory comment, please refrain, thanks very much. :angel2:
    Seriously?
    sorry for the "non contrbutory response" but I thought that mentioning how grateful families are for the pt receiving great care- including bed baths- would be an inspiration. I know that each time I make someone smell and feel better it makes me realize how I would want to feel if I were the one in the bed.

    Ask a CNA you work with I am sure they would be happy to show you proper techinque

    I dont believe I see "staff or moderator" within your name, so you should refrain your urge to rule posts
  3. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Quote from elizabeth321
    I can't believe that a nurse of any kind is asking how to do a bed bath? am I missing something?

    Liz
    Yes, quite a few things:

    1) A nurse who is being honest about their lack of knowledge on a subject isn't asking for someone's disbelief for an answer.

    2) Bedbaths are typically not done on the noc shift, and even if they are, it might be done by the NA.

    3) Like some skills, if you don't use it, you lose it. And if it's been 13 years, there might be a thing or two forgotten.

    4) Depending on the specialty, you might not run into an opportunity to do a bedbath at all as a nurse.

    5) When doing a bedbath on someone who's A/O, confidence isn't something on the inside. It shows to other people as well. Confidence in skill is one of those things.
  4. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Now for tips (in any order)

    • Wash from clean to dirty
    • Refrain from "perfuming" too much. Fragrances in some lotions and soaps can be irritating to some
    • I use the soft thin blankets from the warmer to keep the pt. covered.
    • The floor that i worked on as an aide, we kept towels in the other warmer. I took one of the warmed blankets, opened it two folds, then put the warmed towels and a fresh gown inside and folded the blanket back up to keep towels warm. This way i had towels with me in the pt. room that were warm when needed. I also threw a pair of socks in the stack from the warmer if the pt. was wearing our socks. I never put gowns IN the warmer directly because the snaps can get too hot and burn skin.
    • I put deodorant on as long as it was ok for the pt. to have it. Just because a pt. is laying in a bed doesn't mean they won't get (and be embarrassed by) B.O.
    • I never 'double-dipped' the washrags. I got one, rung it out, used it, then it went in the linen bag, and got a fresh rag
    • Use baby powder (if any) sparingly
    • As soon as i dried a part off (patting, not rubbing), i put lotion on it (if needed). It helped keep the skin hydrated longer.
    • We had small samples of face cream that a volunteer dropped off to all units. I used it on their face. Some people forget that faces gett dry, too.
    • Give the pt. warm blankets afterward
    • I've seen some people put the same socks back on after a bath. I could see it if there were no other socks available, but fresh socks feel nice, and socks to me are a wear-once-and-wash deal
    • If possible, i combed or brushed hair
    • PLEASE remove eye boogers
    • I check the nails to see if any are broken, and trim the ones that are. Those sharp edges from a broken nail can hurt a pt. or someone else, and it only takes 2 seconds to check
    • Don't forget mouthcare!!!! Also, some sort of lip balm afterwards.
    Last edit by Marie_LPN, RN on Dec 30, '06
  5. by   EmerNurse
    Quote from elizabeth321
    I can't believe that a nurse of any kind is asking how to do a bed bath? am I missing something?

    Liz
    You might also want to think about this: just because you've been taught how to do something, doesn't mean there aren't other ways, perhaps better ways, to accomplish the same thing. If I haven't done something in a very long time, sure I can look up the steps in a skills book, but I'd be very appreciative of the tips and insights offered by those who do it more often and may have some great ideas to contribute.

    No nurse knows or remembers every little thing they were taught in nursing school, if they've not done it in ages. I was taught Leopold's maneuvers for OB in school. I was tested on it and I passed very well. Could l do it now?? Probably, with the book in front of me. Do it WELL? Doubt it -let alone evaluate the results! One of the reasons I love this site is the tips and insight I get, even on things I do everyday, but can now do better!
  6. by   P_RN
    We used to have those packets of liquid soap for ss enemas. I think they were Castile Soap. Anyway they make a great and gentle bath soap.

    The shampoo that comes in the admission thingy also works gently. But I find that any washing is better than none.
  7. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    I think the stuff we had was Aloe Vesta's SeptiSoap. I LOVE the smell of that stuff, it wasn't perfumy, just fresh.
  8. by   elizabeth321
    If you want to compare a bedbath to Leopold's maneuver be my guest....I just cant' wrap my head around needing such a detailed explanation on how to give a bedbath....anyhow no hard feelings.

    Liz
  9. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Quote from elizabeth321
    If you want to compare a bedbath to Leopold's maneuver be my guest....I just cant' wrap my head around needing such a detailed explanation on how to give a bedbath....anyhow no hard feelings.

    Liz

    A couple of explainations were provided for that.
  10. by   GardenDove
    Quote from moongirl
    Seriously?
    sorry for the "non contrbutory response" but I thought that mentioning how grateful families are for the pt receiving great care- including bed baths- would be an inspiration. I know that each time I make someone smell and feel better it makes me realize how I would want to feel if I were the one in the bed.

    Ask a CNA you work with I am sure they would be happy to show you proper techinque

    I dont believe I see "staff or moderator" within your name, so you should refrain your urge to rule posts
    I was refering to the post that offered nothing but a critisism that I am not familiar with bedbaths. All the other posts were nothing but helpful. Since I started the thread asking for advise, not inviting derision, I think I'm within my rights in my request.
  11. by   maryloufu
    One tip I have heard for those with REALLY strong B.O. that does not respond to soap is to use shaving cream. Put some on a face cloth- wipe the area and then rinse with a wet clean face cloth. I had a nurse tell me that she uses this when a lady is not so fresh in the nether regions- but I am hesitant to use anything but soap or periwash there- I would hate to cause irritation- irritation that would bother you all day as you lay in the bed! Also I am a fan of handing the patient a clean wash cloth at med time to wash hands- especially if they are having to use the urinal in the bed.
    I dread baths sometimes- just like I dread IV starts- but if you just get in there and get them over with you find that you get more efficient and hopefully they will not bother you too much.
  12. by   muffie
    oh yes when pts are up in the chair for breakie i give them a nice hot facecloth to freshen hands and face

    i tell them to wash away the sins of the night !
  13. by   LilRedRN1973
    I am an ICU nurse and love bathtime with my patients! It's a great opportunity to "bond" with the patients and really get an excellent skin assessment. I feel a sense of accomplishment when I can stand back after my baths and see a clean, fresh patient on crisp white sheets. I also shave my male patient's faces and my female patient's legs and underarms (I buy the big pack of disposable razors at Costco and use one for each patient because the hospital-issued ones are crap; I've cut many patient's faces up with those cheap blades!). In the past, I've even painted toenails on a young lady who, according to her family, was very conscious of her appearance.

    I wash my patients hair with the shampoo caps and in the case of women with long hair (who've been in our unit for weeks and have very tangled up locks), I will put a bit of conditioner in it and braid it so it doesn't continue to get tangled up. My baths take approximately 30-40 minutes from start to finish, including oral care, trach care, and any dressing changes that need to be done.

    I have a little "goodie" bag that I bring in filled with quality razors, elastic bands for the hair, shaving cream (in case I can't get any from patient supply), linen spray (for those who aren't sensitive to fragrances and aren't on vents), and grapefruit lotion (ambiguous enough for both male and females....again, I don't use unless family/patient is able to tell me if the patient is sensitive to fragrances or has allergies).

    I look forward to my bed baths, but in the beginning, I will admit that I, too, was afraid of giving them...LOL. I was very reluctant to actually do them on my own (I had been giving baths with my preceptor all through nursing school). But I eventually got over it and have made it into my own little "ritual" with my patients. The families are always very appreciative, especially when the little things like shaving legs and armpits (on gals) are done. I know that when I'm sick, I feel tons better when I actually get my butt into the shower and lather up. It may not make me "healthier" or any less sick, but I somehow feel better. I like to think my patients feel much the same way.

    Melanie = )

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