Back Rubs

  1. Just curious, do nurses give patients back rubs any longer?

    That was one of my favorite therapeutic interventions 'back-in-the day'. That was before DRGS and short stays, when a patient could spend days or weeks on hard, vinyl covered mattresses and backs got sore.

    Patients really responded to a good rub and were so grateful for it.
  2. Visit Saifudin profile page

    About Saifudin, RN, NP

    Joined: Feb '04; Posts: 239; Likes: 204
    Home Health Care Nurse; from US
    Specialty: Home Care, Primary care NP, QI, Nsg Adm

    61 Comments

  3. by   TheCommuter
    I haven't given a back rub to a patient since 2004. This was when I was a student during clinical rotations in an LPN/LVN program. Unfortunately, time has not permitted for me to give back rubs in the real working world.
  4. by   philanurse74
    I do, every night. To many, not all of my patients. Some refuse, some actually don't want one, but most appreciate it, and I am happy to do it.
  5. by   April, RN
    After I wash patients up or before I put them to bed, I almost always rub their backs down with lotion. Patients tell me how great it feels after spending so much time in bed. Plus it helps freshen them up and smell good when they have been sweaty, incontinent, etc.
  6. by   truern
    I have...but not as often as I'd like.
  7. by   AnnieOaklyRN
    hi,

    In my hummble oppinion if the patient wants a backrub they can hire a massuse (sp)... Not my job nor do I have any desire to give any patient a back rub... In most cases the thought groses me out.

    Sorry to have such a negative attitude towards the subject, but I just feel its not a nurses job to do that and nor do I have time. I am an ER nurse so that would probably be more of an inpatient type of thing, but even if I worked on a floor I still wouldn't do that!

    Sweetooth
  8. by   Diploma'82
    I remember those days too! I work in ICU (nights), and we bathe pt's in the evening and I try to give a lotion rub during the bath. If not for the bathing I wouldn't have time...especially if working the floors.
  9. by   Not_A_Hat_Person
    Honestly, giving a patient a backrub would make me very uncomfortable. I'll rub on lotion after bathing, but massages are not in my job description.
    Last edit by Not_A_Hat_Person on Jan 29, '09 : Reason: more infomation
  10. by   April, RN
    Quote from Sweetooth EMT-P, RN
    hi,

    In my hummble oppinion if the patient wants a backrub they can hire a massuse (sp)... Not my job nor do I have any desire to give any patient a back rub... In most cases the thought groses me out.

    Sorry to have such a negative attitude towards the subject, but I just feel its not a nurses job to do that and nor do I have time. I am an ER nurse so that would probably be more of an inpatient type of thing, but even if I worked on a floor I still wouldn't do that!

    Sweetooth

    It's not like the patients demand a back rub or that we are required by our employers to provide spa services. If you are already washing a patient or helping them prepare for bed, it just takes an extra minute or two to grab a little lotion and rub it on their backs. It really makes a big difference to patients who have been in bed for days after a major illness or surgery. It's something small that helps them feel better and in turn makes them feel better about their recovery.
  11. by   WalkieTalkie
    Quote from Not_A_Hat_Person
    Honestly, giving a patient a backrub would make me very uncomfortable. I'll rub on lotion after bathing, but massages are not in my job description.
    Yeah, I agree. I definitely put lotion on my patients' backs but I could see where the back rub would make me and potentially the patient very uncomfortable.
  12. by   April, RN
    Also, there nursing care in the ER is very different than care on a floor or ICU. I woudn't give back rubs in the ER either.
  13. by   RNBelle
    I once was working in trauma ICU and had a PT on a vent and all her VS became elevated. I figured why not try a foot rub and see if those nursing interventions really do work....and it did! No need for meds or a call to the Dr. She calmed down and rested well for several hours. When she became agitated again I took a couple of minutes for another foot rub - I have decided it works like a charm. So will I offer a full up massage? No, but like others have said, if I am doing a bed bath, it only takes an extra minute to rub some lotion with a dash of TLC.
  14. by   kellykelly
    I can't stand giving a patient a back rub, it gives me the creeps. Unless they're old and have very sore backs, I REALLY don't like the intimate contact. Maybe that's because usually the ones asking are males aged 40-55 and I don't like it one bit.

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