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Bathing Classmates and Other Personal Boundaries?

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by brownhairedgal brownhairedgal (New Member) New Member

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1,093 Visitors; 25 Posts

I feel it is good for the student. They need to have better ideas of what a patient goes thru.

We had to bath each other. Thats all. In shorts and t-shirt.

It should have been a full bath.

We did caths, iv's and everything else on dolls. We should have done it on each other.

In the Army, we cath each other, male and female. Stuck each other. NG'd each other. Basicly anything you would do to a patient, you had to do it, and have it done to you.

If people have personal, religious, moral, or other objections to bathing classmates, you might need a new job.

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6,478 Visitors; 506 Posts

I had no idea nurses could do pelvic exams. Learn something new everyday.

That said, my felow nursing students are more than welcome to practice whatever they need on me. Just say away from my genitals please.

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6,478 Visitors; 506 Posts

If people have personal, religious, moral, or other objections to bathing classmates, you might need a new job.

Wow. I don't even know how to respond to that. Pretty lousy and unnecessary thing to say, I think.

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3,163 Visitors; 116 Posts

Wow! I'm shocked at this thread. Can you say "Law Suit"? It's hard to believe there are still schools allowing students to practice IV starts and catheters on other students! If there were infections or trauma caused by the student to another student that school would be responsible. Maybe it happened in the old days but in the old days, pregnant women also drank alcohol and no one wore seat belts. We've grown and changed practices as we become more knowledgeable. The old way is downright dangerous! I actually know a Paramedic student that was in the hospital with sepsis for 6 weeks with a bacterial infection that usually only IV drug users get. You guessed it.....she had let other Paramedic students practice IV starts on her without her instructor's knowledge.

As far as bathing...I wouldn't allow another student to practice a skill on me that required me to undress first. I just wouldn't do it. And again...there's always the legal threat to a school that a student would claim sexual misconduct and sue the school if another student had the opportunity to touch him or her inappropriately. Why risk it? Use manikins in class and practice on a real person on the job, under the tutelage of a registered nurse. The student nurse always has to ask the patient if they agree to let them perform the skill even though they're still a student and there are plenty of patients that are more than happy to agree.

If I was in your situation, I think I would just take the instructor aside and tell her I wasn't comfortable with disrobing in front of anyone or having anyone bathe me and would prefer to opt out of that situation. If they give you a hard time, contact the school's Risk Manager and see what they have to say about it. I bet the practice will end quickly if the school's legal team hears about it.

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greenbeanio has 3 years experience and specializes in mental health.

6,501 Visitors; 190 Posts

I don't feel that it is my duty to let someone invade my personal space just because the school we are at doesn't use mannequins and real patients. A student is not the same thing as a licensed professional and I don't want inexperienced people touching me or using my body to practice things like injections or catheters or even bathing. Once they are licensed then I know I can trust that they are being professional and held responsible, until then they are no different than someone in my A&P class going for a biology degree.
Interesting that you seem to use "mannequins" and "real patients" interchangeably. Why is it okay for "inexperienced people" aka students to "practice things like injections or catheters or even bathing" on "real patients" but not on other students? Are we somehow a class apart? If students can be trusted to learn on "real patients", then they should be trusted to learn on other students too. I think somehow you accord "real patients" less rights and respect than yourself as a student.

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7,016 Visitors; 285 Posts

You have the right to refuse, however nursing includes losing some of your modesty in the name of your education.

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1,250 Visitors; 19 Posts

WOW. I was gobbsmacked reading this post. I have never heard of using fellow students as guinea pigs. Not for anything more than perhaps a volunteer to swing in the lifter. Occasionally you may have students who click together and get together to practice taking blood (this is not recomended practice though). I am in Australia and am a Registered Nurse having 20 odd years of nursing experience. This is just not a practice any university or hospital would use here. So, all i can say is that our training allows us to be buddied with an expereinced nurse who shows us hands on how to do what we need to do. I certainly do not feel that adding this personal experience to the curriculum would improve standards/make better nurses. In fact, i for one would not be a nurse if i had to let a uni mate catheterise me! As for us expecting the general public to allow us to bathe them etc, what can i say. I go to a doctor and expect them to do what they do, i go to a solicitor and expect them to do what they do...i would expect the public who come to hospital would be trusting us to be able to our job as well.

As for empathy, well if thats not in your character you wouldnt choose nursing in the first place-surely?

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MyLove4FL has 11 years experience and specializes in Corrections,Med/Surg, Infectious Disease.

2,625 Visitors; 57 Posts

WHAT!!!!!! Who the hell (excuse my language) would even consider performing any invasive procedure on a classmate, yet alone a nursing program that even allows or asks it to be done!!!!?????!!!!!! I started reading some of these posts and was like "What the _ _ _ _"!! If any nursing program or even nursing student allowed or asked someone to volunteer whether behind a curtain or not to have a urinary catherter inserted or what have you is a complete idiot!!!!! Besides maybe practicing inserting an IV NO ONE and I mean NO ONE should have to be asked or told they need to do such a stupid thing. And for reasons of "To comprehend how it feels as a patient is just as stupid"! Come on people, how dumb are you to actually think or consider a stupid task!!!!

Yes, we as nurses will need to learn how to do this but it's no different than in medical school, it's a lot on the job training and learning to obtain people skills as you go. I am appauled that any Nursing program or Nursing student would even consider wearing a swimsuit, only a bra or undies for any kind of nursing practice. I don't care how close each student may or not be to one another or how strict your program is, any remote sense of doing such a thing to other students and vice versa is completely insane and shame on you for not sticking up for one another and not coming together to stop this hidious so-called learning skills. You will get it during clinicals with actual patients, yes there are times you won't experience certain skills until you are an actual RN but when you become a Licensed RN and go through a New Grad program for your first job that is where you NEED to really pay attention even more to your preceptors and always have them show you the first time then you follow suit and perform the skill. As a nurse there will be times you don't perform certain skills for years on end depending on how your facility works and operates(i.e. some places have lab teams that do 95% of lab draws or IV start teams and so on). Even if that happens you should still learn to practice whenever possible because when lab draw teams or IV start teams are not always around or working nights & you have to do it anyway. Either way, I'm saying you will learn something new each day of your career no matter how long you've been a RN.

Keep in mind, as a New Grad RN you will feel overwhelmed and say a million times " Why did I go to RN school. How will I remember all this? I can't do this!" All those thoughts will be in your head a million times a day for several years if not your whole career but your first year will most certainly be your most demanding because you may not experience things at all in school or as a New Grad. So you can only do what you can do what you know and take in stride all of what you've learned and apply it. Always remember to ask ask ask questions if you don't know the answer or how to perform something, it will look worse if you do something and can't back it up other than saying "Um, I don't know I thought to do it this way". That doesn't fly in any court. Don't ever lie in charting or say something was done and it wasn't. Don't be bullied by anyone and stick up for yourself.

Ok, I'm a little of the subject at hand but for goodness sake people, do not perform invasive skills on each other other than an IV insertion to a hand or forearm. A bed bath you can do fully clothed and walk through the steps, but inserting caths and etc, how dumb.

Come on, use common sense people!!!!

:nurse: J

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2,456 Visitors; 51 Posts

Hello,

In nursing fundamentals we had to give each other a bed bath. Later in the nursing program we had to give ourselves a shot in the vastus lateralis with Normal Saline and to each other in the gluteus. Everyone was a little nervous and excited at the same time, especially with the shots. But, that's how we all learn. At some point each one of us would be a patient for some reason somewhere. :nurse:

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1,250 Visitors; 19 Posts

Im so hoping by 'giving each other a bed bath' that you mean fully clothed? there is not one argument for any other way.

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520 Visitors; 1 Post

I respectfully disagree. While this class is sometimes uncomfortable I think there is a benefit beyond practice for students. It can be an opportunity for us to experience what our future patients will be experiencing and maybe help us remember that their modesty means as much to them as it does to us. I don't think this can necessarily be accomplished by practicing on a manikin. I think most of the skills that we can practice on each other can provide this more realistically than a simulation. If I were a patient, I wouldn't want to be the first person that someone is testing their skills on, especially when me and/or my insurance are paying for it.

We aren't required to give ourselves over to the unpracticed hands of our fellow students. As you mentioned, the bathing usually occurs with clothing on, as far as I have heard, so you are spared the humiliation of pericare (remember, it is humiliating for the real patient as well). Most universities that I have heard of are not supposed to allow you to practice venipuncture skills on each other, though I have heard of more associate degree programs allowing it. I haven't heard of anywhere that students practice foley insertions, so there are (understandably) some limitations.

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1,511 Visitors; 22 Posts

The Student's bathing each other experience will give all of you hopefully some compassion when you are bathing a real patient. Not all nursing students have been CNA's or even taken care of a sick person. Exposing a patient fully when they have not control over the situation is wrong. If it really makes you uncomfortable you should let your instructor know.

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