Do you give back-rubs and foot baths to your patients?

  1. 3
    As a rule, if I'm not too tired, I always give backrubs and take care of my patients feet and legs. I do this on all of them. Others only wash their face and hands and that constitutes a bath. I am sometimes not done until 10:15 at night. Sometimes I'm questioned about why I took so long and I just tell them, "I did complete care on all of them."

    No one really argues.
    Joe V, merlee, and Hygiene Queen like this.

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  3. 50 Comments...

  4. 1
    No time for back rubs/foot baths(?). My patients get complete bed baths. I would feel slightly awkward giving a near-stranger a back rub. Idk, that's just me. We do have a pain management nurse that will perform therapeutic touch/reiki, though, if asked.

    PS. Are you in the US?
    DizzyLizzyNurse likes this.
  5. 1
    Yes, touch is a very therapeutic measure of comfort and pain control. I am a brand new RN and make sure I use touch as measure of assessment (sp) and comfort. I had a COPD pt the other night that calmed simply because I gave her a back rub when asked. While doing that, I was able to assess her needs....Anxiety -vs- fluid overload, etc... It seems my COPD pt's along with painful pt's respond so much better with touch. (as long as they are comfortable with it...)
    NRSKarenRN likes this.
  6. 2
    Whenever i need to put lotion on a patients dry feet or itchy back, i work in a little massage time. Less awkward feeling than, "would you like me to massage your shoulders now?" ya know?
    silt and Fiona59 like this.
  7. 2
    I don't now because I work in psych and we just don't go there.

    However, when I was doing clinicals, that was one of the things we were taught and clients were always appreciative. We were taught it was just part of your nightly ADLs. I hate to see this getting pushed to the wayside but with ratios what they are, it's not something that gets done as much.
    silt and kattycakes like this.
  8. 1
    I don't give massages, generally speaking. However, for patients who are incontinent or immobile, I do rub protective lotion on their backs, bums, elbows and heels, but I wouldn't call that a massage -- its preventative care.
    DizzyLizzyNurse likes this.
  9. 12

    Might be me being paranoid because I'm a male nurse but.............too much opportunity for............misunderstandings. Heck, I've had women accuse me of trying to "sneak a peak" because they happened to be on the bedside commode when I answered their call light. Not going to give someone like this any ammo.

    I've heard patients complain that nurses don't do this anymore but..........meh, they'll get over it. Or they can hire someone for that.
    Altra, BrandonLPN, anotherone, and 9 others like this.
  10. 3
    Offering a backrub was taught as standard HS care when I went to nursing school. Don't recall the foot bath though. Since I went straight to peds I've never actually given a backrub. Been offered one as a patient myself one time. That was back in 1986.

    As I recall they were just a few minutes long and had a prescribed order of motions. You could use lotion or rubbing alcohol. Not exactly something you want to have Barry White playing in the background for.
  11. 3
    No, I don't. If the patient needed it, I would but honestly it feels a bit personal to me. I would not be comfortable with it. I had a patient who desperately wanted me to spend a lot of time scratching his back and it made me feel really awkward. I am sure that is just me, but I have pretty strict boundaries regarding personal space. I was not raised in a touchy family and have never been a hugger. I do try to touch my patient's hand or arm when I care for them and I do make a lot of eye contact, so it isn't an issue of avoiding intimacy, just physical intimacy. To me that is just too personal. I am, however, a very new nurse. It is likely I will get past it when the situation calls for it, but just as a means of pampering? No. I don't.
    Altra, anotherone, and ElSea like this.
  12. 0
    I have to be careful in psych, but my gero pts get them when I can.
    I used to do this much more as an aide, but I do try.
    Our younger pts... no. That can be bad news and actually traumatic for some.
    Otherwise, I see it as providing good skin care to my pts with poor skin integrity and goes right along with repositioning and bathing.

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