To wash or not to wash?

  1. Hi Everyone,
    I'm a long time reader but first time poster! This is something that has bothered me for quite some time but finally came to a head today.
    I work med-surg in a smaller hosptial, we have a fairly decent employee base but our team on this floor is small.
    My issue is with nurses "washing" during morning care but not completing the genital region or doing mouthcare...ewww, just eww!!
    I relieved one of these nurses today. I went around to the pt's to introduce myself and one lady asked if I could help her. She is admitted w broken pelvis, dislocated L shoulder, fractured R wrist..obviously not capable of self care. She asked if I could wash her "lady bits" because it wasn't completed in the am. She then told me she had requested a thorough wash d/t it being missed yesterday as well (same nurse), and was told there wasn't enough time. I washed her right away.
    Management is aware, turns a blind eye. We have offered assistance, team washed, educated etc etc to deaf ears.
    My question is how much slack do you pick up for co-workers? Of course I'm going to wash a pt, but where is your line?
    Sorry for the rant...off to wash my lady bits..lol
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  2. Visit sunflower3,RPN profile page

    About sunflower3,RPN

    Joined: Feb '17; Posts: 8; Likes: 35
    from CA

    18 Comments

  3. by   AceOfHearts<3
    There's no excuse for not cleaning the perineal area or completing oral care. Sloppy personal care leaves the patient at risk for infections- UTI, pneumonia, etc.

    We have the baths in a bag in my ICU, however I feel a good ol' fashioned bed bath with a basin and wash clothes is better if the patient is hemodynamically stable enough.
  4. by   Elfriede
    Hhhmmm....

    If your pt denies your activities, let him sign a form :
    "Refusal : I reject ... "
    1.) Your company will love to print this for you.
    2.) Your pt thinks twice or more.
  5. by   mejsp
    Golden rule: Do unto others as you'd have them do unto you. I am very grateful for the nursing instructor who said, "I hope when I'm a little old lady unable to care for myself someone will help me stay clean and dry when I can no longer do so." We are talking about respecting someone's dignity. That's a core principle.
  6. by   sallyrnrrt
    As a DON , I love getting a patient back from 3 day hosp. Stay with a dressing on her back, dated and initialed by our nurses 3 days ago
  7. by   MunoRN
    I agree that a lot of nurses undervalue the importance of baths, oral, and peri-care in their overall prioritization, but I also come across an equal number of nurses that inappropriately prioritize these tasks above more important ones. While it's great when the handing off nurse is giving a well bathed patient, it's not so great when in order to give a great bath they've ignored the 10 different far more important things they should have been dealing with.
  8. by   Sour Lemon
    I work nights and we usually do the daily bath on our shift. Perineal care is done around the clock as needed, though. I think they really do have less time on days for that sort of thing between meal trays, visitors, procedures, discharges, and new orders. We do most wound care on nights, as well.
  9. by   sunflower3,RPN
    This is exactly how I feel as well. I treat everyone as if that was me or my loved one in the bed. There really is no excuse for this behaviour, the rest of us carry the same loads and give quality care.
  10. by   brownbook
    I know I did not receive much training in bed baths. I guess it was assumed aides would be doing that work! I learned it on the job from CNA's and LVN's.

    I just wonder if some of your co-workers are just not sure how, thus don't feel comfortable with, doing oral and peri care?

    Perhaps you could encourage "management" or nursing education to give an in service on this very important area of nursing.
  11. by   JKL33
    Quote from brownbook
    I know I did not receive much training in bed baths. I guess it was assumed aides would be doing that work! I learned it on the job from CNA's and LVN's.
    What! I feel violated! We had to give each other bed baths!

    Okay, it wasn't too fine a "detailing," if you will, but it was still quite an experience. Actually I'm not opposed to the idea. It makes a bit of an indelible mark as far as getting a glimpse of what it's like to be in that position.
  12. by   smf0903
    Everyone on our unit gets a head-to-toe bath every day...and all the parts Days normally perform baths, unless it's crazy then we do one at night.

    NPO and vent patients get oral care Q2hr. Everyone else brushes at least twice a day for sure.

    Sallyrnrrt...how the heck are people documenting wounds if they aren't removing dressings?!? O.o
  13. by   sunflower3,RPN
    Quote from brownbook
    I know I did not receive much training in bed baths. I guess it was assumed aides would be doing that work! I learned it on the job from CNA's and LVN's.

    I just wonder if some of your co-workers are just not sure how, thus don't feel comfortable with, doing oral and peri care?

    Perhaps you could encourage "management" or nursing education to give an in service on this very important area of nursing.
    We have walked through it, we have educated, management has talked to these nurses but to no avail. We do have an aide on the floor but usually utilized for 2 per washes. Everyone has the same load, and if we don't, we help. We are a team...just some like to play more than others
  14. by   sallyrnrrt
    Quote from smf0903
    Everyone on our unit gets a head-to-toe bath every day...and all the parts Days normally perform baths, unless it's crazy then we do one at night.

    NPO and vent patients get oral care Q2hr. Everyone else brushes at least twice a day for sure.

    Sallyrnrrt...how the heck are people documenting wounds if they aren't removing dressings?!? O.o
    The hospital totally ignored the wound and dressing........I did raise " a ruckus" with said hospital.......

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