Bed Baths, I dread giving them. - page 5

OK, so now I'm going to split my 0.6 FTE on our small rural hospital 6 bed CCU/Stepdown unit half and half, 12 hour days and 12 hour nights, since some rare weekday dayshifts opened up. I'm keeping... Read More

  1. by   Jo Dirt
    I'm mortified at the thought of someone giving me a bed bath.
    If I can't get in the tub or shower, forget it.
  2. by   KellieNurse06
    I liked doing bed baths during our clinicals....I especially liked being able to wash the patients hair....something about having their hair washed makes them feel better or a bit cleaner than if it wasn't washed even if they weren't able to have a bed bath or shower.....I always try to think how I would feel if it were me in their place.
    I have a couple of nurses I know of who actually use hand towels instead of regular sized towels they dry the patients with after washing them up......I think that is just plain lazy not to mention the towel isn't big enough for a baby, never mind a full grown about feeling vulnerable.. ......
    Last edit by KellieNurse06 on Jan 5, '07
  3. by   AliRae
    Quote from RYNOBLASTER30
    These people don't bath themselves everyday at home, why should they be bathed everyday in the hospital? What a waste of nursing resources.
    Indeed, RYNOBLASTER, it's possible that there are people out there who don't bathe every day. However, those people (and people in general) aren't usually lying sick in bed for days on end. Try it out sometime. You'll probably feel disgusting and truly in need of a fluff-and-buff.
  4. by   cardsRN
    cool thread you guys! it was not until i worked icu that i began to really enjoy the bed baths. yay warm soapy water! what are the bath caps for hair washing everyone's talking about? i've never seen them. we use the rinseless ( i still rinse) stuff another poster talked about. advice: take a deep breath and prepare to enjoy making someone feel better. i was uncomfortable with the idea of giving 1-2 people complete baths every shift i worked at first but i've come to enjoy seeing my clean shiny pt lying in crisp sheets with new dressings. lol. most of the time. some people are so sick that you can never make them look neat for more than 10 seconds at a time. it just takes doing it a few times to get comfortable. oh yeah, and use plenty of water! i like to rub a very light layer of baby powder under the arms (so many people over do). i jus tdiscovered that my hospital has keri oil as well as lotion- works WAAAAy better! maybe add baby oil to the goodie bag! i love the goodie bag idea btw. sorry for coherence issues, just got off shift.
  5. by   Ohmygosh
    During my first semester of nursing school, I had a great instructor who showed us students how to make shaving cream for our male patients. Apparently the hospital didnt have shaving cream to pull from inventory. He told us to use two of the small individual packages of KY jelly and two dollops of liquid soap--mix 'em together and wah -lah...shave cream that didn't irritate the skin and made those crappy razors glide smoothly on the skin.
  6. by   rpv_rn
    introduce yourself and explain what you're doing thru-out the procedure, regardless of the pt's loc. keep your patient covered well. water on the skin before drying is chilly.

    use friction to create 'suds.' let me explain this further. one of my favorite relaxing past times is getting massages. nothing is more irritating to me than a very light massage touch. i am more tense after the hour than i was going in.

    so long firm strokes when you bathe feels better than light touch. if your pt is awake & alert & is falling asleep during his/ her bath, then you're on the right track!

    last, but not least, bathing is a great opportunity to assess your patient, physically and emotionally.
  7. by   RNperdiem
    For extra credit, check out the dollar stores for your own stash of shampoo, conditioner and spray on deodorant.
  8. by   danissa
    :spin: so different giving incubator baths to tiny babes--I love it! when they have been sick in the incubator for a while, they really give off a smell-- and have CHEESY FEET! -must be horrible for them! once they've had a wee bath inside their incubator, they are so fresh and clean, it's great for the parents too!
  9. by   darrell
    I'm an EMT and a student nurse in Rochester, NY. I've been working as a tech since January of 2006 as a way of backing my studies with real-world hospital experience. If you look up the definition of patient care tech in the dictionary, I think it says, "Person who gives bed baths"...

    I agree that they key is focusing on the patient. Learning the procedure can be a pain, but the real payoff is the patient contact.

    Problems to foresee:

    Interruptions are #1 on my list. I can't leave a client undressed and half-damp to answer a call from another room, nor can I do baths for six or eight people if I don't allot enough time. So plan your schedule in advance to allow for 20 minutes per bath.

    Also plan the bath itself. Nothing is more frustrating than being under the gun in a schedule sense and finding that every swipe of the washcloth spreads feces to a new spot. Or simply running out of rags because you didn't bring enough! Plan to bring more thna you think you'll need and isolate any quantities of messy stuff with a clean towel to keep it from the spots you clean. Figure out the best direction to roll (away from the biggest mess) in advance - take a moment or three to look. Change gloves a lot rather than spread stuff.

    If the patient is going to do part of his own work, set him up and then buy time by fitting something else in, whether an interview question or another task elsewhere (like setting up materials for the next bath in line!).

    For your comfort, raise the bed. Lower the rail on your side, but be careful of the other side because sometimes rolling can be disorienting and the patient will just keep on going...

    Mostly, just be organized. Get a list of steps, sort of a mini-bath protocol, and you'll do fine. Use your best communication face to reduce discomfort and it actually turns into a comfortable and often funny moment with the person you are caring for!

    Last edit by darrell on Jan 11, '07 : Reason: spelling (duh)
  10. by   hjwdancer
    Quote from GardenDove
    Any tips on giving bedbaths? Really, I'm totally unskilled at giving bedbaths. Anyone else scared of them?
    Here are my tips garnered at the knees of a most-wise and speedy tech while I was a green nursing student:

    Planning! All the tips mentioned before were very good!

    If you have no hair washing device then use:
    * an adult brief (if they're super absorbent- if not, use several towels)
    * a styrofoam cup
    * liquid soap (preferably shampoo- but if none available use the liquid soap).
    * 6-8 wash clothes
    * 3 towels- depends on hair length
    * conditioner (if no conditioner use lotion)

    Have hot water ready in basin- this should be hot but not burn skin hot (as if you could get it that hot from the faucet- I'm sure someone here can, but I can't where I'm at).

    Place brief under patients head to help absob any stray water rivulets that may run under pt's head or down the neck. (can use towels or a combo of both)

    Place washcloths in basin. Use one with NO SOAP to get hair damp; for longer hair use the styrofoam cup to pour the water sparingly over hair.

    Place SMALL AMOUNT of soap/shampoo on new washcloth and towel through hair (this will get the excess oil off and make the hair smell nice without working up a hard-to-rinse lather).

    Rinse with a new NONsoapy washcloth or if necessary with the cup.

    If hair needs conditioning, place a very small amount of lotion in your hands and rub it into the pt's hair starting at the ends and working into the scalp (think 1/2 of the amount of conditioner you would use for the pt's hair length).

    Rinse with a new NON soapy washcloth.

    Have used consistently with bedfast or acute patients with positive results- conserves patient energy, helps them feel really clean and refreshed.

    Other tips:

    Powder in creases of a bed-bound or obese patient can cause irritation and eventually open sores (think granules of sand rubbing in those sensitive areas).

    Make sure you dry the patient's creases well- even under the abdominal flap, breasts, under arms, and double (okay- triple) chins. Otherwise, yeast infections can form quickly.

    A quick word about lotion- do not use the whole bottle on your patient and leave it on the skin where it hardens and drys. Lotion was meant to be rubbed onto the skin- you should no longer see it after that. Just pouring lotion on them is not enough

    Just work quickly and keep your patient covered and warm. Tell your patient you are green at this and to let you know if there is anything they would like you to include.

    I hope you enjoy the new shift!
  11. by   jg25spn
    I have come on to a shift to find dried BM on patients with delicate skin. Periwash works with LOTS of rubbing. But if you put a little lotion on the washcloth, it softens and comes off much easier. But still thoroughly wash and dry...
  12. by   jg25spn
    Oh, I forgot something our instructor taught us:uhoh21:
    Wash distal to proximal to promote circulation!

    And I just read a post above. An incontinent pad under patient's head and rolled under neck, with a couple of folded towels on top, also works well to wash hair. Use a wash basin of water, and a cup pouring water over hair. Wash hair and then rinse. It actually works better than one of those sink looking things for beds that have drain tubes on them!
  13. by   darrell
    Quote from jg25spn
    An incontinent pad under patient's head and rolled under neck, with a couple of folded towels on top, also works well to wash hair. Use a wash basin of water, and a cup pouring water over hair. Wash hair and then rinse. It actually works better than one of those sink looking things for beds that have drain tubes on them!
    If you have to wash hair right in the bed, an empty, double-bagged wastepaper basket and stand in for a drainage pail when using the plastic side-draining hair sink. I owe a veteran RN for that bit of too-obvious trivia!