Giving Baths At Night. Agree Or Disagree?

  1. we have recently started giving baths on night shift at the ltc facility i work at....many of the cna's are upset over this because they feel that it is wrong to drag residents up out of bed in the middle of the night to give a bath to them....we are not really short handed so that is not the reason for giving baths....and the residents we give baths to on 3rd shift are disoriented, but still....so question is do you or do you not agree with giving baths on 3rd shift?


    i want to clarify a few details to see if the response is any different....but thank you for all your input thus far....
    this is a long-term care facility,,,,and the residents, in which baths are given are unaware of the time of day, due to cognitive status......and some are frequently awake at night anyways, but not always........these factors may not change your views...but i wanted to make sure you had all the information........thank you for your response.....
    Last edit by kmwlpn on Mar 8, '07 : Reason: add information
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    Joined: Feb '07; Posts: 11

    62 Comments

  3. by   danissa
    so, do you wake people up at night for a BATH???? Would you like to be wakened from sleep and scrubbed all over??????????
    or, do you do it before bed time?? which makes miles of a difference!:spin:
  4. by   cardiacRN2006
    Personally, I love a good bath before bedtime.

    Just don't waste time and do it during the night. Do it right before they go to bed.
    Back in the day, there was a such thing as HS care.
  5. by   GardenDove
    That's purely an ICU thing, or so I thought. It otherwise sounds disrespectful and inhumane
  6. by   cardiacRN2006
    A bedbath is inhumane?

    Personally, not being bathed is not humane.


    People will use whatever excuses to not do bedbaths. I worked as a tech for years, and know this first hand.


    There are plenty of hours where this can be done.
  7. by   GardenDove
    Not in a nursing home, where people are considered residents and are supposed to have a semblance of a normal life. A nursing home is different than the ICU
  8. by   flashpoint
    Unless it is right before the resident goes to bed or unless the resident is awake at that time anyway and is capable of giving consent (or unless they NEED a bath right then), I think it is wrong. I also think it is wrong to get people dressed on 0400 rounds and leave them in bed, give dietary supplements at 0200, and to give any medicine or treatment that could be done at another time between 2200 and 0600.

    In a hospital, you should expect to be woken up for things like meds and treatments (and in an ICU for a bedbath), but in a nursing home, you should be able to sleep as much as possible at night...no one should be woken up unless there is no other reasonable option.
  9. by   morte
    1) sleep deprivation
    2) sleep deprivation
    3) sleep deprivation

    no medical/nursing unnecessary awakening of residents during their normal hours of sleep.....a don tried this about 15 years ago, went to the med school library and gave her a one page typed single space desertation on the above.....actually put it under her door, on my way out one morn. my floor didnt hear anymore of that garbage. of course we were union.....
  10. by   ktwlpn
    It is a violation of state dept. of health regulations to bath a resident during normal sleeping hoursin LTC (unless the resident requests ) "Short cuts" like this are considered to be a violation of the resident's rights -The DOH looks at this type of action as something staff is doing for their own convenience. I would NOT want my loved one treated this way-I would make an anonymous call to the DOH and the ombudsman....
  11. by   GooeyRN
    I don't bathe in the middle of my sleep hours. Why should someone else have to be bathed in the middle of their sleep hours? I can see if they are awake and request it, or are HEAVILY soiled. But not just b/c they are disoriented and awake. The residents deserve the chance to sleep. Showering/bathing them is taking the choice away from them. Its one thing in a hospital/ICU. But a nursing home is the residents HOME. I would not want to be bathed and dressed for the day at 0300. Are the residents going to have their bed clothes put back on, and then have day shift dress them in their regular clothes later when they get up? No one should have to sleep in their regular day clothing. (other than a short nap)
  12. by   NicoleRN07
    If it's before bedtime, then it's perfectly fine, but if you're talking about 2 or 3 am, then NO I do not agree. It's even worse that you wake the confused patient.....they are already disoriented, and it's only going to make that worse. Chances are once they're awake, they will be awake for the rest of the night, because they don't know any different.
  13. by   pghfoxfan
    Many if not most places are doing 12 hour shifts, which makes the "night" shift start at 7pm. Between 7-11 is a normal time to give baths. Many elderly do not sleep many hours and are awake by 5am, another great time to bath/assess your patients.
    I have worked all shifts. For the most part, daylight is the busiest for activities such as dressing changes, therapy and visiting even most medications are given during 7a-7p(daily meds and BIDs). Also, the amount of interuptions such as doctors rounds and phone calls occur during these times. I found giving a bath a perfect time to assess my patient.

    Flexibility is the key
  14. by   chris_at_lucas_RN
    I thought it was cruel and unkind when they bathed ICU patients at night when I was an extern. The rationale was that they were doing so much other care during the day, the night shift was the only time the patients could be bathed without interfering with other "more important" care. The patients who were at all "with it" complained, but to no avail.

    I think it is absolutely stupid mean and insensitive to bathe nursing home patients (anyone!) in the middle of the night. If they are confused about day and night anyway, why would you want to do something to confuse and stimulate them more? Aren't we supposed to be helping them meet their basic needs, and isn't sleep one of them? And aren't they supposed to do that at night so they can meet their other basic needs during the day (like eating and socializing?)?

    My hat's off to the union nurse who slipped the note under the DON's door, and also to the poster who noted that the DOH sees that as a violation of the patients' rights.

    One more reason why I do not want to ever be a patient in a LTC or a critical care unit. I believe I'll just stay home with my dogs. (They know when it's time to sleep!)
    Last edit by chris_at_lucas_RN on Feb 28, '07 : Reason: apparently I cannot spell!

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