Tips on making that ICU bed look perfect after a bath - page 2

Hey folks. I completely admire those gifted nurses who are able to make their patients look and smell like a commercial for the 4 seasons after the bed bath. I am so bad at it... any advice? ... Read More

  1. by   UM Review RN
    An easy "soak" for fingernails: Before you start the bath, put a little lotion into the fingers of a glove, and slip the gloves on the patient. Keep them on until you're all finished with everything else, then clean the nails last. I call it "Instant Manicure."

    For really filthy feet, I'll then get a plastic bag with a bath blanket on top and put the whole thing under the patient's feet. Then wet 2 towels with warm water, wring them out, and tuck them around the feet. Let 'em "soak" like this for a few minutes while you do the hair and the rest of the body.

    Not having worked in ICU, I don't know how this translates, but I've had people hospitalized for weeks whose hair was so greasy and tangled, I'd remove their pillow and put a plastic bag (bring it up around their shoulders), put a couple of bath blankets over the plastic, and just go ahead and wash and rinse their hair, then comb it and wrap it in a towel while you do the rest.

    If you do the hair first, if the bed gets messed up, you're going to change the bedding anyway. Then while the hair is still damp, braid it or style it.

    I love the detanglers; they work very well, but I think you use them first, then wash.

    Also, the Johnson's No More Tears shampoo is great for getting that crud out of the eyes.
  2. by   ptadvocate81
    Here is the greatest tip ever for washing hair in bed:

    If pt can lay pretty flat, this works better... Our headboards come off where I work, and it helps A LOT. Take the headboard off, move the bed away from the wall, move pt up in bed, as far as they can, place towel roll under their neck and tuck a large trash bag under their shoulders and neck, resting the bottom of the bag on the bed frame below. Wash their hair with shampoo and conditioner as normal, and rinse (I like to use a clean urinal for the water) letting the water fall into the trash bag. This makes for really clean hair and a not so sopping wet bed... Just gather the trash bag and pour it into the nearest sink or toilet. Pts love this and their famlies appreciate it. Obviously this is not for every pt, as some are much much sicker than others... Hope this helps though.
  3. by   dorie43rn
    In our ICU, we add wonderful smelling body washes to our bath water. We buy these on our own. The Dollar Store has tons of different smells for a buck! I bought some male body wash the other night, and everybody commented on how good it smelled in my patients room. Men don't like smelling like roses! For the women, we like to pair up the body wash with the same smelling creme. Of course we wouldn't use these products if they had allergies. I'm also a powder freak, so they get powder on their backs and butts. Then cover them with fresh linen layed just right, clean up the room, and that should be it.
    Also, as already menitoned, all the tubes and wires should be laid staight and no tangles. I lay the heaviest heart monitor wires behind the patients pillow. When those wires and foley tubes hang, they can be uncomfortable for the patient.

    Dorie
  4. by   UM Review RN
    Just recalled something else: after washing long hair, while it's still wet, comb out and braid on top of the head. Stays very neat-looking that way. You can wrap the braid into a bun if you think the patient would prefer that style. Ribbons or scrunchies are always a nice addition.

    I've had some patients get very emotional after having a nice bed bath and hairdo fix. It's amazing what a little TLC can do.
  5. by   SICU Queen
    I've been nursing for 14 years in ICU and have done many a bath... and there's not one thing that I can think of that hasn't already been covered.

    Excellent thread!!
  6. by   deeDawntee
    HeHe,
    This thread makes me laugh. I love having my patient, the bed and the room look great and do a lot of what has been mentioned here. I really like the idea of buying my own body washes with good smells. Great idea.
    What makes me laugh is that I have been in the ICU for over a year and when I started I thought the nurses were all neurotic and I would never become one of those "sheet nazis"!!! But here I am as particular as anyone!!! It makes SUCH a difference. Especially having the lines and pumps perfect and labeled and untangled. Some nurses don't give a damn and it drives me NUTS!!! I would rather bang my head on the wall than to leave a room as bad as some nurses do!!! Anyway, great conversation here, I love it.

    :chuckle:chuckle:chuckle
  7. by   blueheaven
    I do all those things, but sometimes you get a patient that looks good for all of 10 minutes then squirms around sideways, wrinkle up their sheets and looks worse than when you started! (where's the propofol) I have 2 vent patients like that now!!!

    We have a couple of nurses that over do the powder thing and when you come in to do your am assessment....pt looks ready to fry LOL
  8. by   blueheaven
    Quote from deeDawntee
    HeHe,
    This thread makes me laugh. I love having my patient, the bed and the room look great and do a lot of what has been mentioned here. I really like the idea of buying my own body washes with good smells. Great idea.
    What makes me laugh is that I have been in the ICU for over a year and when I started I thought the nurses were all neurotic and I would never become one of those "sheet nazis"!!! But here I am as particular as anyone!!! It makes SUCH a difference. Especially having the lines and pumps perfect and labeled and untangled. Some nurses don't give a damn and it drives me NUTS!!! I would rather bang my head on the wall than to leave a room as bad as some nurses do!!! Anyway, great conversation here, I love it.

    :chuckle:chuckle:chuckle
    I'm a "line and tube nazi" just as you are. I despise spaghetti!!! Get a pt back form the OR and Lord only knows what is running where, and what is plugged into what!
  9. by   blueheaven
    I also bring my own bath wash and razors. I can't stand a patient with 3 day stubble and stinky!! Some nurses just don't care and always leave a mess.

    I wouldn't mind having any of you for my nurse if I was sick
  10. by   truern
    Another great product is Summers Eve Powder...believe it or not. A sprinkle on the sheets and they kinda slip with the patient instead of bunching up under them. Since it's designed for a sensitive body area chances are most people won't be allergic.

    I LOVE to use shave cream in the bath water...especially with the men. I just can't stomach stank
  11. by   jjjeep4
    wow.....my first post!!
    I have been in icu about 20 plus years...and have always made it a point to give thorough cares.....(when I am sick, I want a hot shower, clean sheets, teeth brushed,cool and dark room....)soooo....

    I integrate a full bath with my assessment....including almost daily hairwash....real brushing of teeth....shaving......linen change....

    hairwashing can be done on virtually any icu patient in less than 3 minutes without even getting the bed wet....there is no (no!) excuse for not doing it at least every other day....

    I have had patients cry with thankfulness when I wash their hair/give them the salon tx.........(sometimes, there is not much else that I can do for them.....ie ......mult pressors....trauma etc.....that makes them more comfortable...)

    a warm bath....integrated and seamless assessment....medicate if possible....

    the results??...improved vitals.....pt now more willing to do whatever you ask of them throughout the day....improved pulm toilet....improved rom....thorough cares does as much physically for most patients as about 4 mg of morphine.....pt is more rested....families are more rested...nurse is more rested...(ha!)...

    I also do an abreviated total care midway thru the shift.....(as well as prn).....

    it is just kind......it only adds about 5-10 minutes to my assessment....and the results are substantial.........

    best of luck!.....J.
  12. by   danamobile
    when i bathe someone, i expect to completely SOAK the bed, along with filling up the basin about 3-4 times. honest! be liberal! get the limbs and trunk scrubbed down and dried, and then for pericare, just dumped drenched soapy cloths in and give a good scrub. i find that the patients are much cleaner with a bed 'bath' hehe. also, when i turn my patients every two hours, i wash their back and bum and reapply lotion to the backside, and try to give pericare in the front at least every 4 hours. we are not allowed to use any other bath product except for the chlorhexidine wash (to decrease MRSA) and babypowder is outlawed due to increasing allergies, so soap is all we got! also, vaseline to the lips and gel to the mouth durying mouthcare and to the nose helps, and keeping a towel near the face so i can frequently wipe the side of the mouth/eyes when they're wet. good care is much easier when you start organized from the beginning! i give my patient really good mouthcare as the end of my initial assessment! my patient reflects my care so it must begin at the start
  13. by   oneillk1
    Quote from cvicugirl
    Calvin&Hobbes,
    Mind if I print out a thousand copies of your post? I'd like to wallpaper our break room with it! I add a sprinkling of baby powder to their backs and sheets if it isn't contraindicated and always make sure that the closed ends of the pillowcases are facing the door. Changing ET and NG tube tapes also makes a big difference. As for washing hair: I have used wet, warm, soapy washcloths with many a collared bloody head trauma. Wrap the hair with a warm soapy washcloths ahead of time to soften up the dried blood. If it is really bad, tuck a thick garbage bag under the head and shoulders, put the bed flat and use warm soapy water poured from a clean urinal. You'll be standing at the head of the bed (think intubation position!) If you put a bottle of mouth wash in the final rinse, it gets rid of the old blood smell. Cover the central line with a thick towel, but expect to change it after anyways.
    Thank you so much for this, our unit protocol says hair wash MINIMUM of weekly, but whenever I ask my colleagues how to do it, the standard answer is 'oh don't worry about that". It just seems like not something that is worth bothering the educator about, but so far I haven't got my head around the logistics of vent, lines, water, bed....

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