Do you ever offer to shave female patients? - page 2

I had a female patient Sunday who had quite a bit of facial hair. I have never offered a female patient a shave, but I thought of it. I didn't know how she handled her facial hair situation, she... Read More

  1. by   rn-jane
    I usually don't do anything about it but... A couple of years ago i had a older patient, she had a serious goatee and everything else. It was so bad the roommates family thought she was a man, i felt really bad for the old girl. When she heard the family member she started crying. Well i gave her a shave, manicure and spiffed her hair up a bit. i was precepting that day and the census was a little low. When her husband came in and saw her, he sought me out and at first i thought he was mad but then hugged me and said "she always was particular about her appearance but since her illness she was too ill to care" I guess she told the husband about the rude roommates guest and what i did for her.
    I guess it just depends on the situation and the patient you are doing for.
  2. by   GregRN
    What if you left the question open: "Ms. Hirsute, what can I get you to help with your morning grooming?" This avoids being obtrusive and allows you to meet the patient where they are.
  3. by   leslie :-D
    wow.
    shaving female pts. has always, always been a part of my care.
    never even thought to ask.
    i see whiskers and feel compelled to shave.
    it takes 2 minutes.
    and boy, are they grateful.
    if anything, you can see that some feel shy, but always offer a grateful "thank you".
    i would have never thought not to.

    leslie
  4. by   ERRNTraveler
    "Ms. Hirsute...." HAHA this is hilarious!!!! :spin:
  5. by   Balder_LPN
    I graduate next quarter. Last week in clinicals this came up with one of my patients. The female nurse I was working with was younger than me (I am 41 and male) and brought it up to me, she was unsure of approaching the subject with her just because of what you all mention here.

    Well, I seemed to have a good repoirt (sp?) with her on day 2 so I just said "would you like to take care of that little bit of hair on your chin?" (it was more than a little, and she was the same age as me so that made it seem more delicate than if it was an elderly pt, but long hx of ETOH, narcotic abuse, depression, and cutting too, besides severe current medical issues) she said "yes" and I asked her if she wanted to do it or if she wanted me to. She wanted to do it so I brought the razor and stood by (couldn't leave her alone with it of course). So i say big deal, access the situation and ask politely. I always prefer the direct method.
  6. by   crissrn27
    If you say her daughter also has facial hair that is really noticeable, then maybe it is not their culture to shave/wax it? If they did, I would think the daughter would do hers, KWIM.

    It can be a touchy subject! I have shaved female pts, in LTC, and their families were usually grateful. On the other hand, I have had several complaints from families that the CNA, nurse, etc, "shaved their moms face, without permission"!! Can't make everyone happy all the time.
  7. by   bigredrn57
    Facial hair? I had to shave ''down under.'' If the patient was embarassed I offered to shut my eyes. Don't worry everyone finished with the parts they started with. What's the diff? Women shave men.
  8. by   FireStarterRN
    Quote from crissrn27
    If you say her daughter also has facial hair that is really noticeable, then maybe it is not their culture to shave/wax it? If they did, I would think the daughter would do hers, KWIM.

    It can be a touchy subject! I have shaved female pts, in LTC, and their families were usually grateful. On the other hand, I have had several complaints from families that the CNA, nurse, etc, "shaved their moms face, without permission"!! Can't make everyone happy all the time.
    I did feel like my suggesting to shave the patient might have been viewed as condesending. The family appeared to be uneducated and from the lower socioeconomical side of life. The daughter looked somewhat unkept. The daughter was actually from my town and her husband had gone berserk and burned down their house a few years ago after making threats on the family, I remember that well, we had all gone to watch the house burn, it was quite an event. So, I didn't want to do anything to make these people feel demeaned or feel as if I was above them.
  9. by   all4schwa
    well, i would offer if it looked like it had been shaved before, or if the pt was chronic as in, maybe she did when she was younger, but has been too sick and no one offered. if it looked like she was used to it just growing willy nilly, i wouldnt offer.
  10. by   FireStarterRN
    Quote from all4schwa
    well, i would offer if it looked like it had been shaved before, or if the pt was chronic as in, maybe she did when she was younger, but has been too sick and no one offered. if it looked like she was used to it just growing willy nilly, i wouldnt offer.
    That sounds like a good approach, thanks. I'm going to include this in my assessment from now on. In her case, she did look like it was going willy nilly.
  11. by   GregRN
    Quote from jlsRN
    That sounds like a good approach, thanks. I'm going to include this in my assessment from now on. In her case, she did look like it was going willy nilly.
    You'll have to add an extra column to your flow sheet:

    Facial Hair:
    □ Absent
    □ 40 Grit
    □ Willy Nilly

    Last edit by GregRN on Nov 13, '07
  12. by   Medic04
    Quote from bigredrn57
    Facial hair? I had to shave ''down under.'' If the patient was embarassed I offered to shut my eyes. Don't worry everyone finished with the parts they started with. What's the diff? Women shave men.
    AMEN I offer to shave both if I get a chance during a bath Men or Ladies. Some elderly would be mortified if they knew they had beards facial hair. Now if we could get other techs to do the same.

    I have even shaved legs and arm pits,LOL.
  13. by   MA Nurse
    My former mother in-law has a mustache, it is noticeable and she isn't lying in an ICU. I couldn't/can't stand it. How can women who aren't sick NOT notice facial hair? I look in my magnified, lighted, make-up mirror at least every other day. If I see ONE stray hair that is dark and noticeable, it is plucked immediately! ICK!
    About your pt., I take care of babies, so I've never had to deal with that, thank you!
    If I had a good relationship with the pt., I would MAYBE hint around about it somehow.

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