Bed Baths & Other Nursing Arts Still Taught? (Speaking of Wet Wipe Baths) - page 4

by DoGoodThenGo | 5,975 Views | 49 Comments

Just wondering if learning how to give bed baths is still taught in today's RN nursing programs? Or has it gone the way of other nursing arts such as three different types of bed making and so forth?... Read More


  1. 0
    We learned it in our CNA program. Our RN program requires you to take a CNA class prior to starting clinicals, so we don't really go over it in our RN program because they assume you learned it in CNA class.
  2. 4
    Quote from blackvans1234
    They didn't even teach us how to make hospital corners!


    What???????
    You'll kill your patients if you don't do hospital corners!!
    SummitRN, sharpeimom, KelRN215, and 1 other like this.
  3. 0
    Quote from nursenotamaid
    I went to nursing school about 12 years ago (wow...that long?!) and we were taught soap and water baths with wash cloths and we also had to make our beds with flat sheets, not fitted ones.

    Now, the hospital I work in does not *allow* soap and water baths. Every bath has to be done with chlorhexidine wipes and thats that. If I have a really stinky patient, I will pull the curtain and hide so I can give a soap and water bath.

    The hospital also took away all razors from the bedside and gave us electric clippers that really don't do a nice face shave. :-\
    You do know the reasons for those, right? If not, ask, and we can tell everyone.
  4. 3
    I learned "hospital corners" fRom my mother, who learned them in the unit on home nursing in the 1930's Girl Scouts. (If you ever want to know how to make a quite serviceable bedpan with newspapers just ask me). I was fine with them when I went to school, but imagine my surprise when the first hospital I worked in had fitted bottom sheets! Wow!

    A Canadian nurse taught me how to make fitted sheets out of flat ones, and I have taught that to a lot of people since, including all my students. It's fabulous, smooth and tight, no wrinkles, and if the sheet doesn't get dirty it doesn't need changing QD either. I mean, do you change your sheets at home QD if they aren't dirty? Of course not.

    OK, OK. To to this, make sure your bottom sheet is the long kind, not the short one that came to your hospital on the last EMS stretcher. Tie a square knot (NOT a granny knot... Note how the ends lie next to each other on each side of the knot) on the narrow end of the sheet, with the "tails" as short as possible. Pull the resulting piece over the head of the mattress, so the knot is underneath it and the corners of the mattress are compressed a bit because it's so tight.

    Now, walk to the foot of the bed. Pull the sheet down tight to wedge the mattress into the tied end. Lift up the foot of the mattress, pull the ends of the sheet underneath it and tie another square knot, or tie the square knot first and pull it over the end of the mattress. Your mattress will look a little U-shaped, but if you bounce it a bit it will smoosh into those tightly-tied ends and flatten out and be snug and flat, ready for the draw sheet.

    When you take it off, be sure to pull the knots out before they go to the laundry!
    Last edit by GrnTea on Feb 26, '13
    RetRN77, sharpeimom, and KelRN215 like this.
  5. 0
    Quote from Esme12

    To give a bath.....While keeping your patient warm and covered while maintaining their dignity....IS an ART.Wow.....this saddens me....we are losing the art of nursing.

    I know, I know ....technology....advances....responsibilities.... now are "worse"...but I worked in critical care with open hearts and advanced medicine. I remember on a step down unit a new med was approved and flown in from Chicago for torsades....it was called bretyllium (I know it isn't used any more) it was cutting edge.....but I still gave my patients care.....we gave PM care, rubbed their backs washed their faces and hands ....brushed their teeth......"tucked" them in....dumped their trash. All AMI's were on bedrest for at least a week and were NOT allowed to do their own care.

    I always found that assessing my patient while giving care was the best assessment of the patient and their needs. Many time while making "casual conversation" patients reveal things that are links to caring for them or that they may have issues at home....like abuse.

    I always found a sense of deep satisfaction, a job well done........in seeing my patient bathed, hair combed, teeth brushed, clean shaven, comfy on a clean crisp bed.....drsgs complete...lines changed........I guess I am a dinosaur.

    It was the reason I went to ICU.....not just the adrenaline and the skill it took to care for these patients......but to give the care I was taught to give.
    Esme, I wish we had the time to do this type of care. Nowadays, I spend my time documenting all the cool technology we have. Frustrating that advances take time away from the patient.

    Sent from my iPhone using allnurses.com
  6. 0
    I documented like crazy as well...and still did care. I worked critical care up until about 3 years ago......I just think we are forgetting who's connected to all that junk. They had multiple gtts, PA lines, LA lines, Pacers, balloon pump, vents CAVHD (we call them gambros) and VAD's NGT's and we wrote long hand...which actually sometime is sometimes easier.

    But we remembered the patient. or should I say we were allowed to remember the patient...sad really.
  7. 3
    I'm in my last semester, and I'd love to see the look on my instructor's face if I told an aide to do something for me and I wasn't
    too busy. We are expected to do as much hands on care as time permits, and be helpful on the floor. Besides, the bed bath/linen
    change has yielded huge clues/information about the patient I can never get from a normal assessment, such as:
    1) new incontinence
    2) any drainage from pressure ulcers
    3) skin condition
    4) any painful areas not otherwise documented
    5) psychosocial. I love the LOLs that tell their life stories while I bathe them, they are often hilarious and have words of wisdom.
    RetRN77, Ir15hd4nc3r_RN, and GrnTea like this.
  8. 5
    Bed baths are more than just skin hygiene.
    You can also make sure that the conversation you hold while you bathe is going to be fruitful in understanding more about your patient.
    "Tell me about where you live," can get you all sorts of info on safety, who'll be there to help after discharge, and may go off onto family issues, money worries, or a host of other things that will help you plan and target nursing care.
    "How many steps do you have to climb?" may get you info on isolation, or previous falls, or the landlord won't fix the elevator....
    "Do you have a shower or a tub at home?" can give you info on safety-- perhaps a tub transfer bench or shower stool would be safer, or maybe the landlord doesn't have any hot water.
    "Who cooks at your house?" may give you info that says there's no one who cooks, so she gets meals on wheels three times a week, or she has six grandchildren to feed so she does, or...

    See, this is the way to use purposeful communication. When you think, "Bed bath, boring, why doesn't the aide do them all?" this is one reason why. Because the RN is held to a higher standard. - See more at: http://allnurses.com/general-nursing....pgficcpa.dpuf
    RetRN77, Ir15hd4nc3r_RN, Surprised1, and 2 others like this.
  9. 0
    The program I graduated from requires you to take a CNA course prior to admission, so everyone comes into the program already knowing how to give bed baths and make beds. I work in the ED though, so I don't do those things much.
  10. 1
    I still can't make a hospital corner....
    SummitRN likes this.


Nursing Jobs in every specialty and state. Visit today and Create Job Alerts, Manage Your Resume, and Apply for Jobs.

A Big Thank You To Our Sponsors
Top