I have to be bathed by my classmate???

  1. :imbar Ok call me old fashioned but I am kind of concerned. I had my nursing orientation today, and I was informed that as part of one of my practical nursing classes I will have to be sponge bathed by one of my classmates and in turn need to sponge bathe a classmate. Ok fine. No worries. HOWEVER, the next breath was, you will have to strip down to your underwear only and your classmate will drape you and sponge bathe you and vice versa. I understand that as a nurse I will give sponge baths to patients and I have no problem with that. But one of my classmates that I am going to spend hours and hours with for the next 2 years bathing me is a whole other story! True, like the instructor said it lets you know first hand how the patient will feel while you are abthing them, so you will want to treat them with dignity but being an overweight gal I am uncomfortable with this because I will have to look at these classmates for the next 2 years. Did anyone else ever do this as part of their curriculum? I don't mean to freak out but I never heard of this. They can stick me with all the needles they want for practice, but bathe the mannequins...lol
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  2. 185 Comments

  3. by   FutureNurse2005
    I'm really not sure how they can force anyone to do this. If this comes up in my program I will be speaking with the program director and dean of the school. There are boundaries, and I for one feel that this crosses that boundary!
    There is no reason why you cant learn on the mannequin, especially if you can learn just about everything else with them.

    Talk to someone! This is not ok!!
  4. by   michw2
    We don't do that in our school. The only thing that we did on each other were finger sticks thats as close as I got. I think I would check with the board of nursing in your state and see what they say. What state are you in?
  5. by   newgrad2004
    Hahah I recall being as frightened about this as you but most just wore shorts and some daring ones wore a bathing suit. We had the curtains drawn and most of us knew someone from our prereqs that we felt comfortable enough with. Also it was stated no m/f groups. It was not as big of a deal as we thought. You dont have to wear underwear if you dont want.
  6. by   Saved_by_Grace
    [font=lucida sans unicode]i live in ky but i go to shawnee community college in southern illinois. i realize i am probably being overly concerned about it a lot of it is my self consciousness about being overweight. the shorts are a good idea, but still looks like it would be voluntarily and not a forced issue.
  7. by   newgrad2004
    Thankfully they wont let you practice or make pin cushions out of each other.
    HIV/hep A-Z stopped that. :hatparty:
  8. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    We wore bathing suits (had to be one-pieced) and shorts. If i were told to strip to the underwear, i would have objected. That is just MORE than i want my classmates to know about me.
  9. by   nurseunderwater
    i suppose though it is a good opportunity to get a little insight. the patients who you will be caring for will be feeling just like you....Unless you have been in the hosptial it would be difficult to empathize with how vulnerable a person really feels having a stranger give them a bath.

    I opt for a whole piece and shorts BTW...
  10. by   renerian
    Believe it or not my partner was a guy. They would not let me out of it. I just did it and he was very courteous. I on the other hand, kept blushing. Stupid I guess but it was a new experience for me.

    renerian :imbar
  11. by   Chaya
    We did not do sponge baths but I think that was due more to the messiness than out of modesty. We did do exams on each other in "lab" which involved stripping down to the underwear and putting a johnnie on over it. It felt a little weird at first to let all those sweet young thangs see my middle-aged flab and gut but I figured if they could look at that and not lose their lunch then I could deal with it too... I will add that a batch of brand new underwear was purchased and that the old legs got shaved more religiously than at any other time before or since!
  12. by   Darlene K.
    We did sponge baths, but were given the option to wear bathing suits or underwear. We also we allowed to choose our partner. I still didn't like it, but I got thru it. It does give you some insight of how the patient feels to have a stranger bathe you.
    Good luck!
  13. by   Star Trek Nerd
    I'm sorry, but I agree with the OP and the first couple of posts. This crosses the line. I will not let anyone sponge bathe me in nursing school under any circumstances other than fully clothed.

    That does not mean I will make a bad nurse, nor would it make me a "good" nurse afterwards should I chose to do it.

    JMHO
  14. by   HillaryC
    I think that is totally inappropriate and definitely crosses the line. I had a hard enough time in Health Assessment letting my (female) partner palpate my big, fat, flabby abdomen. I suspect this tradition may be from the teachers' school of thought "we had to do it, so they should too." I think in this day and age it's crazy that schools try to get away with this. I could see the potential for a big lawsuit if a student was dismissed for not being willing to be bathed by a classmate! Also, I think being bathed by a total stranger that I'd never have to see again isn't as bad as being bathed by someone I'd have to face for another 2 years. It's great to recognize how awkward patients may feel, but I really think what you're being asked to do is worse than what patients go through. Also, there are countless situations in which we need to use empathy, without necessarily having had the experience firsthand. What's important is being able to imagine how the patient might be feeling, not that you've had the experience yourself. Frankly, is it really that hard to bathe patients? Isn't that one of the many skills that you'll learn from real hands-on (with patients) experience?

    I would absolutely fight this. You shouldn't have to sacrifice your privacy because you want to learn how to be a nurse. I think they're way out of line. Good luck to you!

    Hillary

    Quote from WannaBLPN2005
    :imbar Ok call me old fashioned but I am kind of concerned. I had my nursing orientation today, and I was informed that as part of one of my practical nursing classes I will have to be sponge bathed by one of my classmates and in turn need to sponge bathe a classmate. Ok fine. No worries. HOWEVER, the next breath was, you will have to strip down to your underwear only and your classmate will drape you and sponge bathe you and vice versa. I understand that as a nurse I will give sponge baths to patients and I have no problem with that. But one of my classmates that I am going to spend hours and hours with for the next 2 years bathing me is a whole other story! True, like the instructor said it lets you know first hand how the patient will feel while you are abthing them, so you will want to treat them with dignity but being an overweight gal I am uncomfortable with this because I will have to look at these classmates for the next 2 years. Did anyone else ever do this as part of their curriculum? I don't mean to freak out but I never heard of this. They can stick me with all the needles they want for practice, but bathe the mannequins...lol

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