Nursing school: Bizarre practice in learning to bed bath.. - pg.5 | allnurses

Nursing school: Bizarre practice in learning to bed bath.. - page 5

This is too much: :uhoh3: My significant other came home the other day from nursing school (3rd day) stating that he is going to need to bring his bathing suit to school because they are... Read More

  1. Visit  tammy777 profile page
    0
    I graduated 2 years ago, so I guess it was about 5 years ago we practiced bed bathes. We were told to wear a bathing suit or shorts/shirt to get wet. We had a same sex partner and our fake hospital drapes were closed (that was part of the learning as well, pt privacy). I am heavy set, I have body issues, this was no big deal... Definitely a good learning experience, nothing to get weirded out by or jealous over. Now if they said I had to practice catheters on a classmate I would have said no way, but that's alot more invasive... We had to practice injections and IVs on eachother too, it all goes along with learning to be a nurse, and we always have a choice to participate or not, but you can't expect to practice on someone else if you aren't willing to be a guinea pig for others..
  2. Visit  hecallsmeDuchess profile page
    0
    Quote from klone
    for all of you who think it's disgraceful, let me recommend you never go to graduate school to be a cnm. if you think doing bed baths on your classmates is unbelievable, then i can only imagine how you would react to doing vaginal and breast exams on your classmates.


    are you serious? there i was freaking over having to have someone else in my class bathe me and giving thanks that i didn't have to submit to that in nursing school. in my mind bathing is a lesser evil and i'll gladly submit to it before i ever opened my legs before a classmate. yikes! are our nether parts no longer sacred??
  3. Visit  canigraduate profile page
    0
    Woohoo! Knew I was going to get flamed.

    Sorry about the modesty thing. I totally didn't think about religious modesty. If it is against your beliefs, then obviously you need to talk to the instructor and get a dispensation. Otherwise, yes, get over it.

    I have lots of empathy for patients. Just none for squeamishness. I know that is a fault of mine, but most of the time I don't care.

    BTW - I didn't say anything about undressing in front of other people, just exposing your arms and legs. Most Americans (who do not have religious constraints) do so, and more, every summer day. You should see some of the crack-tastic people on my block.

    And, you better believe I'll tell any patient that needs therapy to get it. A couple of my family members have obvious mental health issues and they weren't told to get therapy until way too long after the symptoms disrupted their lives. (Personal pet peeve of mine. Mentally ill is the same as physically ill to me.)
  4. Visit  happy2learn profile page
    6
    Quote from samanthaeh76
    Woohoo! Knew I was going to get flamed.

    Sorry about the modesty thing. I totally didn't think about religious modesty. If it is against your beliefs, then obviously you need to talk to the instructor and get a dispensation. Otherwise, yes, get over it.

    I have lots of empathy for patients. Just none for squeamishness. I know that is a fault of mine, but most of the time I don't care.

    BTW - I didn't say anything about undressing in front of other people, just exposing your arms and legs. Most Americans (who do not have religious constraints) do so, and more, every summer day. You should see some of the crack-tastic people on my block.

    And, you better believe I'll tell any patient that needs therapy to get it. A couple of my family members have obvious mental health issues and they weren't told to get therapy until way too long after the symptoms disrupted their lives. (Personal pet peeve of mine. Mentally ill is the same as physically ill to me.)
    That was far from "flaming" by the way. Disagreeing with your post is not flaming.

    Having general body image issues (where one simply does not want parts of their body exposed) is not an mental health issue. My bad if that is not what you intended to say, but it is somewhat implied when you discuss how you tell people with obvious mental health issues they need therapy.

    Many, many, many people are insecure about their bodies and don't want to expose certain parts in front of peers. It may be "just" arms and legs to you, but in a bathing suit (which by the way is what is talked about in the original post) that exposes a little more than just arms and legs. I don't believe having insecurity warrants the need to advise someone they need therapy.

    I know quite a few people who do not wear tank tops and shorts in the summer because they don't want to expose their arms or thighs. I wouldn't say they needed therapy. They are just insecure. And it would probably help if people would be empathetic instead of telling them to get over it. I also see these "cracktastic" people as well. There are more insecure people out there than there are cracktastic.

    It's more than "squeamish." It's a shame that you think it's ok to discount your fellow students concerns, unless there is a religious reason behind it.

    One point in the exercise is to be empathetic to body image issues. At least, that's what I took from my CNA class. I thought you were supposed to not discount a person's concerns (patient or not -and the students are supposed to be acting like a patient, not a student. You are to treat the student in the scenario the same as a patient) and do whatever you could to make them comfortable. Whether you think it's valid or not, it's not about what you think of their feelings. It's about how they feel.

    I wouldn't object to a bed bath, however, I don't like to wear super short shorts because of cellulite and I always put a little foundation on my face before I walk out the door because of my acne scars. Guess having an issue with specific parts of my body makes me mentally ill and/or needing therapy

    If said insecurity caused a person to not be able to function normally in life, then it would be a mental illness, which at time I think it would be appropriate to advise them they should seek therapy. Otherwise, I think you can cause more insecurity by telling someone they need therapy when they are just a little insecure about a body part.
    Last edit by happy2learn on Aug 27, '10
    cherrybreeze, nursel56, ChrisRN1983, and 3 others like this.
  5. Visit  canigraduate profile page
    0
    Quote from happy2learn
    That was far from "flaming" by the way. Disagreeing with your post is not flaming.

    Having general body image issues (where one simply does not want parts of their body exposed) is not an "obvious mental health issue." There is a big difference. Many, many, many people are insecure about their bodies and don't want to expose certain parts in front of peers. It may be "just" arms and legs to you, but in a bathing suit (which by the way is what is talked about in the original post) that exposes a little more than just arms and legs.

    I know quite a few people who do not wear tank tops and shorts in the summer because they don't want to expose their arms or thighs. I wouldn't call them mentally ill. They are just insecure. And it would probably help if people would be empathetic instead of telling them to get over it. I also see these "cracktastic" people as well. There are more insecure people out there than there are cracktastic.

    It's more than "squeamish." It's a shame that you think it's ok to discount your fellow students concerns, unless there is a religious reason behind it.

    One point in the exercise is to be empathetic to body image issues. At least, that's what I took from my CNA class. I thought you were supposed to not discount a person's concerns (patient or not -and the students are supposed to be acting like a patient, not a student. You are to treat the student in the scenario the same as a patient) and do whatever you could to make them comfortable. Whether you think it's valid or not, it's not about what you think of their feelings. It's about how they feel.

    I guess you need to call me mentally ill then. I wouldn't object to a bed bath, however, I don't like to wear super short shorts because of cellulite and I always put a little foundation on my face before I walk out the door because of my acne scars. Guess having an issue with specific parts of my body makes me mentally ill
    Got me on the flamed. I've never really understood the term. I thought it was when other people disagreed with your post, sometimes vehemently. Thanks for enlightening me.

    I didn't mean to equate poor self image with mentally ill, although you will find that they correlate a lot.

    And I personally have several body issues. Yes, I have had therapy. I don't see why that's a bad thing. From the way some posters have replied, it seems that the "therapy stigma" is still alive. You don't have to be mentally ill to need a little help.

    What I am saying, obviously poorly, is that I think it is ridiculous for a nursing student to miss out on the experience of getting and giving a bed bath. It does foster empathy with patients. It also helps students to understand that they will have to actually TOUCH and BE TOUCHED. I am still amazed at how some of my classmates react to touching people. You should see some of their faces when they change a dressing.

    Another point I am trying to convey is that if you won't strip down to shorts and a tank, how can you expect your patients to wear a hospital gown and be practically naked? It seemed to me that the attitude is that nursing students should be "above" that, which they most emphatically aren't.

    Also, empathy doesn't mean that you coddle the patient/student either. Sometimes firmness is necessary.

    Mostly what I was reacting to, though, was the extreme nature of the post. Gets me every time. I will apologize for flying off the handle. I won't apologize for the content, though.
  6. Visit  happy2learn profile page
    2
    Quote from samanthaeh76
    Got me on the flamed. I've never really understood the term. I thought it was when other people disagreed with your post, sometimes vehemently. Thanks for enlightening me.

    I didn't mean to equate poor self image with mentally ill, although you will find that they correlate a lot.

    And I personally have several body issues. Yes, I have had therapy. I don't see why that's a bad thing. From the way some posters have replied, it seems that the "therapy stigma" is still alive. You don't have to be mentally ill to need a little help.

    What I am saying, obviously poorly, is that I think it is ridiculous for a nursing student to miss out on the experience of getting and giving a bed bath. It does foster empathy with patients. It also helps students to understand that they will have to actually TOUCH and BE TOUCHED. I am still amazed at how some of my classmates react to touching people. You should see some of their faces when they change a dressing.

    Another point I am trying to convey is that if you won't strip down to shorts and a tank, how can you expect your patients to wear a hospital gown and be practically naked? It seemed to me that the attitude is that nursing students should be "above" that, which they most emphatically aren't.

    Also, empathy doesn't mean that you coddle the patient/student either. Sometimes firmness is necessary.

    Mostly what I was reacting to, though, was the extreme nature of the post. Gets me every time. I will apologize for flying off the handle. I won't apologize for the content, though.
    You'll know flaming when you see it, trust me. It typically involves rude and personal attacks. Which I don't do and if I did I apologize.

    Anyways, I realize that is not what you meant, which is why I edited my post, but a little to late I see.

    Yes, there is a therapy stigma. I agree that therapy shouldn't be seen in the light that it is, however, it is which is why I would tread lightly when suggesting therapy.

    Yes, I agree it can be helpful (as well as many other skills like mouth care, occupied bed, and feeding), but it can be done in a way to lessen the uncomfortable experience for everyone. What got me was the bathing suits. I think you can get that experience in a t shirt (I know some older woman who feel the need to have longer tshirt sleeves and never wear tanks) and shorts. We did ours in t shirts and pants, just rolled the pants up.

    I don't think any amount of bed baths between students will ever make a person feel comfortable touching a total stranger. The fear and nervousness comes from being with a real patient.

    I don't think students are thinking they are above it (though I'm sure some are). It's just a different atmosphere. I think it is completely different to be a patient in a hospital and be surround by healthcare professionals and other patients. Whereas, the classroom is full of your peers, people whom you will see often. These are people that for the most part (even if we don't want to admit it) we care about what they think about us. I think that is where people get uncomfortable.

    I'm not saying to coddle. But yes, I have ensured my resident was completely covered when I gave her a shower or bed bath. It was difficult, but do-able, and she respected me for following her request. I will do everything in my power to make someone comfortable, as long as it's possible.

    I agree it's a little extreme to freak about it, but I guess if you just don't know it's common practice, then that would be a normal reaction.
    Last edit by happy2learn on Aug 27, '10
    catshowlady and canigraduate like this.
  7. Visit  Cat_LPN profile page
    1
    Quote from samanthaeh76
    Got me on the flamed. I've never really understood the term. I thought it was when other people disagreed with your post, sometimes vehemently. Thanks for enlightening me.

    I didn't mean to equate poor self image with mentally ill, although you will find that they correlate a lot.

    And I personally have several body issues. Yes, I have had therapy. I don't see why that's a bad thing. From the way some posters have replied, it seems that the "therapy stigma" is still alive. You don't have to be mentally ill to need a little help.

    What I am saying, obviously poorly, is that I think it is ridiculous for a nursing student to miss out on the experience of getting and giving a bed bath. It does foster empathy with patients. It also helps students to understand that they will have to actually TOUCH and BE TOUCHED. I am still amazed at how some of my classmates react to touching people. You should see some of their faces when they change a dressing.

    Another point I am trying to convey is that if you won't strip down to shorts and a tank, how can you expect your patients to wear a hospital gown and be practically naked? It seemed to me that the attitude is that nursing students should be "above" that, which they most emphatically aren't.

    Also, empathy doesn't mean that you coddle the patient/student either. Sometimes firmness is necessary.

    Mostly what I was reacting to, though, was the extreme nature of the post. Gets me every time. I will apologize for flying off the handle. I won't apologize for the content, though.
    It's the crassness of your posts that is disturbing people. Whether you mean it or not, you are coming across as being unsympathetic and intolerant to the concerns of others that you can't relate to.

    Are you going to tell a shy patient to 'get over it' when they are 'squeamish' about being exposed to you? Or only validate it if the patient has 'religious' reasons for being resistant to the exposure?

    Stop being so judgmental to others plights. You don't know what they've been through, and the same goes from them to you. I have been a patient many times and am STILL shy about being exposed, even to doctors and experienced nurses. I don't need to be demonstrated to how it feels to be in that bed. Be a little more sympathetic to others modesty.

    And I also agree that student/relationship is NOT equitable to nurse/patient relationship. It's a totally different venue, IMHO.

    My.
    ChrisRN1983 likes this.
  8. Visit  canigraduate profile page
    0
    Quote from Cat_LPN
    It's the crassness of your posts that is disturbing people. Whether you mean it or not, you are coming across as being unsympathetic and intolerant to the concerns of others that you can't relate to.

    Are you going to tell a shy patient to 'get over it' when they are 'squeamish' about being exposed to you? Or only validate it if the patient has 'religious' reasons for being resistant to the exposure?

    Stop being so judgmental to others plights. You don't know what they've been through, and the same goes from them to you. I have been a patient many times and am STILL shy about being exposed, even to doctors and experienced nurses. I don't need to be demonstrated to how it feels to be in that bed. Be a little more sympathetic to others modesty.

    And I also agree that student/relationship is NOT equitable to nurse/patient relationship. It's a totally different venue, IMHO.

    My.
    Ouch. I am vanquished.
    Last edit by canigraduate on Aug 27, '10
  9. Visit  middleager profile page
    6
    I realize the site is mainly for nurses, but perhaps the view point from a patients perspective might help a little. I know hearing what you all say is very helpful to me in understanding and appreciating what you all do and contend with. As a patient I have been asked to not only completely expose myself to nurses of the opposite gender, sometimes in multiples, but submit to numerous very invasuve and humiliating procedures. I have been asked and complied to basically strip naked other than those ridiculous gowns for an endoscopy, though i didn't understand why I couldn't leave my underwear on for a throat exam. I even let the nurse untie the ties on the back of the gown which I twisted in ways that would make a contortionest squirm to tie becasue it made me feel just a little more comfortable...but you said it was SOP to have them untied. So given all you are going to ask your patients to do, I find it a little confusing to troubling that you would find being in a bathing suit with people you have come to trust so unreasonable. You are with friends, in an environment you trust. We are in a strange, stressful, environment, going through much more becasue you have told us your are professionals and we have to trust you. While there may be some validity to the claim having some familiarity with the other students makes it different, i would argue it does not make it easier. If you wiegh the familiarity in a bathing suit against nudity, humiliating procedures, amount multiples of strangers....I don't think it is any where near what you will be asking your patients to do. We are told to trust you becasue you are professionals, if you don't trust eachother...how can we. And as a patient, I can't tell you how many times I have been "coaxed", "convinced", even "pushed" to accept SOP because thats the way it is done. If you take offense at being asked to do this, how can you feel confident asking a patient to go much further. Won't you feel just a little hypocritical. I often tell my employees, I am not asking you to do anything I haven't or wouldn't do. Shouldn't you be able to tell your patients the same. Its true student/patient is not the same as nurse/patient, but its not that different either, and given the difference in what you will be asking compared to what you have been asked....as a patient I understand your reluctance, but I question your refusal. God Bless all of you who try to see this from the patients eyes and what it could mean to them, your exceptional.
    talaxandra, 3rdcareerRN, Fiona59, and 3 others like this.
  10. Visit  flashpoint profile page
    3
    Quote from emr*lpn
    wow!!! you can wear bathing suits or tank tops and shorts??? when i went to school in 1981, we had to go "commando" , making sure our "patients" were adequately covered during the practice sessions. then there was a fire alarm...a bunch of us had to go outside in our bathrobes...
    i went to lpn school in 1991 and we were expected to do the same thing. i was nineteen years old and had never been seen (other than changing in pe class when i was a freshman) or touched by anyone when i was not dressed...plus i was on the first day of my period and my first day was always super heavy. i was having major cramps and i always had really bad gas duirng my period (i know, tmi, but i have a point). everyone else in my class was at least twice my age, all were married, and all had children. i had been a cna so seeing other people undressed didn't bother me, but having them see me was horrible. i cried the entire time and when the student bathing me said they would just do very basic cares since i was so emotional, we were both threatened with failing grades. the person i was forced to bathe had really smelly armpits and had a bit of a crust under her breasts...i still get a little icked out when i see her...i know patients are sometimes pretty dirthy, but she knew what was going on, so one would think she would have bathed that day!

    i know that hands on expereince is very important, but the whole bathing each other thing was really hard for me...i seriously thought about dropping the program because of it. somehow having a nurse who i may never see again bathe me is different than having a classmate who i will see five days a week for the next year do it. both hospitals i have worked in have tried to avoid assigning nurses to patients who they knew very well outside the hospital and when fellow nurses were hospitalized, we tried to assign them to the nurses they were comfortable with.
    catshowlady, nursel56, and talaxandra like this.
  11. Visit  oinch97 profile page
    0
    We practiced on each other, but were each assigned a body part (arms, legs, or face), wore tshirts and shorts and no one seemed to have a problem with it.
  12. Visit  Cul2 profile page
    0
    It might be advisable to for nurses and cna's to approach
    patients needing a bed bath with a cart full of various sized
    bathing suits, different colors, maybe a bikini or two. Perhaps
    we could revert to the early 20th century bathing suits that
    covered the whole body. Those who would rather patients wear a
    gown, could order special gowns that have iron on transfers
    of different style bathing suits. It would be a little more expensive,
    but we could hire body painters to paint bathing suits on patients
    before they're given a bed bath. But, we'd have to make sure we
    don't wash of the painted bathing suit. Sun tan lotion should be
    available, too, just to give patients the true ambiance of a beach.
    While giving the bath, nurses and cna's could tell patients about
    their experiences being bathed in a bathing suit, just to keep a
    conversation going. Blown up beach balls could be scattered around
    the hospital room. Maybe the ice cream truck would jingle down
    the hall every once in a while, too. We could turn this into a real
    experience for all involved.
  13. Visit  nursel56 profile page
    6
    Ilg is so right about the importance of attending to the linens, the hygeine, mouth care, pericare, etc, If it isn't done or isn't done right the patient will likely feel pretty miserable.

    But if a nursing student is uncomfortable with this for whatever reason (scar, psoriasis, obesity, religious concerns, whatever) just like the patient might be, you throw the role playing exercise right out the window and tell them "what's the big deal?" "Get over it!" "You need therapy!" ??

    If the reason to do this is as many have suggested, a forced lesson in "empathy" or a touchy-feely bonding exercise, at least let that purpose be known up front. The mechanics of a bed bath even on "real" patients can be learned very well, as well as how to do procedures with the least amount of pain and exposure for your patient without having it done to yourself. The vast majority of things done to hospitalized patients will not be done on us, ever.

    Really, is it appropriate to hint that CatLPN has "issues" with her SO?? That is nobody's business, and honestly some of the callous attitudes from people when someone objects to this makes me dislike the process even more than I did before. Flame away.

    edit: I just wanted to add this because of the post from the patient above- when we had another heated thread on this topic a few months ago I did ask some friends in a position to comment on it as patients - what I heard from them was mostly a variation on "you will never know what it's like by giving one bed bath on your healthy friends one time in a simulated hospital environment."
    Last edit by nursel56 on Aug 27, '10


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