Just a question for you experienced CNA's, from a student..

Students CNA/MA


  • by V9611
    Specializes in CNA.

Hi, i am currently taking a CNA class at a LTC, and we started our clinicals yesterday, I was assigned one patient, and the other CNA's told me to walk him to the bathroom and wash him up there while he was on the toilet... I was so programmed to do the bed bath, i totally blanked. He washed his face with a face cloth, and i washed his chest and back, arms, underarms, and hands, then put a clean shirt on him, then put a clean brief, and his pants and slippers on his feet, then had him stand up ...he said, "you forgot to wash me"... so i then cleaned his bottom, then pulled his pants up...I feel like i didn't do it right, I feel so bad, the patient was really sweet about it and could probably tell that i was learning.....:smackingf Can anyone explain the proper way to wash a patient in this situation, I have class tonight, and have the same patient....THANKS ALOT..... i just want to make sure i am doing it correctly..:confused:

One Flew Over

190 Posts

Specializes in CV Surgical, ICU.

That's the correct method for a partial bath, done in the bathroom. It's not considered a 'full bed bath' a 'partial bath'. When you get into LTC facilities that's the way most of the patients bathe daily (other than their scheduled shower days). For the most part it is only the really sick or dependent/difficult to transfer residents who get bathed in the bed.

As long as you cover all of the parts a bath is a bath, be it in the bathroom or the bed. It sounds like you did a good job :)


50 Posts

Specializes in CNA.

Well, today didn't go so well :cry:, i just feel like the patients can tell that i don't know what i am doing. I was assigned 2 residents tonight, while getting them washed and dressed for bed, one asked me to get the other CNA and the other said that i was too slow, and that he wanted the other CNA to come back in. Both residents are extremely sweet, and i felt like i let them down, like I was doing something wrong. Maybe i was going too slow, I don't know? I just feel horrible. I am just so dissapointed in myself. I did so well in class with the quizes and midterms.....I just feel akward, and out of place, Has anyone felt this way?:sniff:

fuzzywuzzy, CNA

1,816 Posts

Specializes in LTC.

Everything you're going through is totally normal. That's why you're there- to learn. And don't be offended by residents asking for other CNAs. Most of them are very regimented and they have their favorite CNAs.

Next time you're not sure about something just ask. It's easy for them to tell you to "wash someone up and put him to bed" without realizing that you don't know what the HS care routine is in that facility. In ours we toilet the person (some can walk to the bathroom, others use the commode, etc.), give them a partial bath, put lotion on them, do oral care, and then they all have different stuff you need to pay attention to, like if they have floor mats or bed alarms or both side rails down.

nkara, CNA

288 Posts

Specializes in Med/Surg/Pedi/Tele.

Don't worry about how you clean them up. As long as they're clean your good. Most of the time if they can do things themselves it's better. Alot of the resident are used to new people and are calm and patient. They understand. Most of the time you won't be doing things step by step anyway. It's going to be real life and not text book. When I started I had some residents get a little annoyed with me and I'd just tell them to let me know what they wanted done and give me advice. They can be cranky sometimes but wouldn't you be with someone else washing your privates?

It will get easier... I promise. :icon_hug:


411 Posts

You're still a student who has just started learning how to give baths, so of course you're going to be a little slow. The only way you can get better is if you do it more and more. Some older people are used to routine and will be impatient with you, but don't take it personally. At least the 2 patients you've had are nice about it- I've had worse. Just do the best you can and you'll eventually see it's not as difficult as you thought it was.


232 Posts

Specializes in LTC, Rehab, CCU, Alzheimers, Med-Surg.

Your story makes me feel so sad! There are some residents who don't like students. I am not sure exactly why, but I am guessing that it throws their routine off. The aides that usually take care of them know what they want better than they do! When the residents have a student who is a little slower, it throws their routine off a little. And remember, these people live in a nursing home. Their concept of reality is almost entirely confined to what goes on in that building. Even little changes make are a big deal to them, and they can blow things out of proportion. There is a resident at my nursing home who doesn't let good, experienced aides clean her up because of little things that don't seem like a big deal to any of us.

Don't be discouraged, you will pick things up very very quickly, everyone does. It is a really hard job, and you're a good person for wanting to do it! And to answer one of your original questions, when someone says "clean them up in the bathroom" to me that means; brush teeth (dentures), wash face and hands, wash bottom (with peri care), and apply lotion to legs. It might mean different things to different people, but that's what we do at my facility.


43 Posts

I'm a really new cna too and I think it's better when you're new to be too slow vs. too fast. If you're too fast you might miss something crucial or put the resident in danger...falls slips..etc. I'd rather take it slow until I got it down pat. Don't stress out..I'm there now =)


50 Posts

Specializes in CNA.

Thank you soooo much for your support....I just feel like I went from the classroom & text book, now right to the patients, I think if i had someone "training" me or with me the first few times, i would feel better, but i was alone, so i really felt like I didn't know what i was doing wrong:( But I think that I will eventually get the hang of it. THanks guys:heartbeat:heartbeat:heartbeat

+ Add a Comment

By using the site, you agree with our Policies. X