Nurses, do you routinely do beds and baths?

  1. Do you routinely do beds and baths along with your patient assignment or does your hospital institution provide an aid to deliver this type of care? I am an RN and at my new place of employment, I am responsible for beds, baths, mouth care, lunch and dinner delivery and tray pick up, and more often than not vitals and blood sugars. The typical patient assignment is about 5 primary with usually a new admission or two. When we do have an aid they usually only do one or two beds and baths along with vitals and blood sugars.

    As for acuity, some very sick patients. I would estimate that only 2 of the assignment can perform these activities by themselves. Also responsible for feeding the 1 or 2 patients who are total feeds or very limited in their ability to feed themselves. Is this the norm?
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  2. Poll: Nurses, do you ROUTINELY perform beds and baths for your patients?

    • Yes, all the time

      55.45% 61
    • No, my institution provides an NA for this type of patient care

      30.00% 33
    • I am assigned 1 or 2 along with my assignment

      5.45% 6
    • Only if the NA calls off

      9.09% 10
    110 Votes
  3. 32 Comments

  4. by   eldernurse
    I have voted and I am in the emergency room! We have beds in the holding area. I am supposed to have help back there to clean and make beds between patients but they are never around. I go through 10 to 15 patients a shift and I make 95% of the beds in between.
    My aching back!
  5. by   shelleybelle
    The hospitals where I've done clinicals, the CNA's are responsible for all beds, baths, BG's, Vitals, feeding pts, etc. The RN's & LPN's help out in that area if a CNA is behind. I'm not really that wild about total care situations. I think patients deserve more than one person running around w/their head cut off like a chicken responsible for all their needs. Just my opinion... Of course, as a student, I can't cound the beds, baths, BG's & vitals I've done
    Last edit by shelleybelle on Apr 12, '03
  6. by   gwenith
    We Aussie nurses tend to be the Jack/Jill of all trades. I've worked in hosptials where we were also expected to clean teh beds after discharge as well as empty rubbish bins. Now I don't mind doind those things as long as management realises that I am the most expensive rubbish removalist in the world!
  7. by   Q.
    I don't work on the floors anymore, but when I did work Labor and Delivery we did not have CNAs or LPNs. Total care was done by the RN, which included delivery clean-up of the room and patient and changing of sheets. We had OB techs who would assist in cleaning up the delivery carts and mopping of the floor, and occasionally would assist in the clean-up of the mother if they didn't have another delivery to go to or a C-section to open for.
  8. by   Tweety
    We've had to increase our patient loads when we went to having more CNA's. The CNAs do the baths. Ideally I like to see it done as a team with the RN and CNA knocking out their baths together. This isn't always possible.

    But, the RN/LPN's responsibililty for the plan of care and outcome for the patient. He/she is to see that baths, mouth care, trays passed, etc. are done for his/her patients. These can be delegated to the CNAs.
    Last edit by Tweety on Apr 12, '03
  9. by   LaVorneRN
    When I was a CNA we had a 30 bed unit. If the census went past 15 I got another aide(well that's what was supposed to happen). If there was no extra aide and I had more than 10 pt.'s the nurses had to help with my duties (which some nurses think they are exempt from because they are nurses-some forget it's R.N.-101)-My duties were passing and picking up trays, feeding where needed, showers and bed baths, VS/post-op VS, accuchecks, transporting(pt.'s to/from tests, lab specimens, errands-to central supply,pharm. etc.), assisting pt.'s turning & out of/into beds/chairs/commode chairs etc., charting/documentation-which could take forever if you have 10+ pt.'s by yourself, phlebotomy, and unit secretary as well as stocking, cleaning the kitchen on the unit and answering call lights.
    It was a pleasure for me to work with nurses who took on the team mentality and it didn't matter what the census was or how many aides we had, they helped out where they saw the need and if they could. Some nurse refused to help out, not because they were too busy, but because these things were somehow now beneath them or wherever they came from they didn't have to do it. Needless to say they were in for a rude awakening. They re-learn pretty fast when other nurses got on their butts and set them straight. The team mentality is the best setting!
  10. by   cactus wren
    Actually, that is one reason I work ICU. I feel that total patient care is important for me, at least. Maybe it`s from the many years I was a NA( no C when I was an aide).

    I have friends who work on MS, and they are very hurt, when they occassionally are short aides, and have to give baths...It`s not my job. ?????

    I`ll stay where I am, thank you !!.
  11. by   BadBird
    Working in ICU we do total patient care, there is no aide working there, hardly ever a secretary only on day shift. Like Aussie, I have worked in hospitals where we cleaned the rooms after discharge and emptied the trash. I have been know to fix the monitors and tv's too, we really are a jack and jill of all trades.
  12. by   Stargazer
    When I worked ICU, we had nurse techs who assisted with bed baths, but all nurses bathed their own pts. Since most of the pts were sedated/comatose/immobile, it took 2 people to do a bath, turn the pt and change the sheets.

    It was a good time to listen to lungs, check back dressings and assess skin integrity.
  13. by   indeed
    I work on a 35 bed Tele unit. Our usual assignment is 5-6 pts. Sometimes we have an aide, sometimes not, so we do most of these things ourselves. When I first started, their were no aides on night shift and we also were lucky enough to draw labs. I still can't remember how we got it all done, but we did. In some ways, I prefer doing these things myself. The more you are in that patient's room, the more you are assessing them (which, let's face it, as long as we are looking at a patient, we are assessing them), the more you are going to pick up.

    Indeed.
  14. by   Zee_RN
    ICU here too. We only have an aide occasionally. Most of the baths/bed changes are done by the nurses. The aide may be have a few people to bathe but he mostly gets the partials; the completes are usually vented/sedated patients who get bathed on nights by the RNs ...and there's NEVER an aide on nights.

    I agree that bathing a patient is a wonderful assessment tool. Should be a nurse's job...however, nurse should have a reasonable patient assignment too. You cannot do six bed baths and get all your other work done too. So...it'll never happen.
  15. by   nurs4kids
    Another perk of working peds..
    the parent NORMALLY will do the bath. There are exceptions to the rule, though. On our teens the CA does the bathing. On our rehab pts, I usually do/assist the family with the bath.

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