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why the lack of baths

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Ok I just read part of a post talking about keeping people clean and now i have a bone to pick. I would like to know why there is a lack of baths or even washing up when in the hospital ??

My dad way in the hospital for a week and he got no bath the hole time :mad:????

I was i the hospital for a few days after surgery I was unable to get up or even really sit up for 2 days .

On day one i asked for a washcloth to wipe down my hands and face . thats the most I got on day one No toothbrush or anything? On day two the cna or nurse walked in and asked if I would like a toothbrush and toothpaste :)" all right bath time !!" I am the kind of person that takes 2 showers a day so you can understand how upset i was when i heard the the items being toss on the sink as she walked out :mad: By the end of the day i had it so I called the cna in still do not know who came in nurse or cna and asked to be undone from the c##p on every arm and leg i have so i could brush my teeth then as I am getting ready to get up she walks out yelling hit the call bell when you are done "OH THANKS " So as I am standing up and trying to ami myself towards the sink I am think WOW this was a bad idea if there ever was one I grabed onto the sink and holding on dear life i did mange to brush my teeth :) I then fell back on to the bed side ways that the #### call bell was not there "no glasses on so I could not see it and with the way i was cut forget about bending . In the end another pt heard me and called for help but come ? and I never did get a bath but at least I got a new gown as mine was bloody and wet ? but what is the deal here ?

Wow that's crazy. However, that is not true for all hospitals. I had clinicals in many different hospitals and the patients got a bed bath every morning either by students or PCAs. I am sorry that your dad did not get the care he deserved.

Five&Two Will Do

Specializes in cardiology/oncology/MICU. Has 3 years experience.

That doesn't sound very good to me either. I have 2 patients in ICU and I always offer them a bath either in the evening before bed or in the morning when they wake. Most all of the other nurses herre do the same. We do not have showers, but a basin with water and no rinse soap with towels etc along with toothpaste and brush powder etc. and a linen change. We also have those cool shower caps with no rinse soap. I will even shave the old guys if they want. To me being a nurse starts with the basics that is to say the things that I learned as a CNA. If I do not care enough to do those things, I sure have no business doing anything that requires more of a license. Let us not forget that nursing started with the simplicity of cleaning the patients and their environments which reduced infection greatly. Sorry for your bad experience

RockinChick66

Specializes in LTC, medsurg. Has 10 years experience.

Why no baths?

Well, I do make an effort to make sure my bed ridden pts get bathed while I'm working. But to be honest with you, I see that as a problem where i work as well and the reason is we stay so busy that there is just not enough time in the day to achieve everything we would like. Also there are a lot of times we will be short staffed. However, if we are fully staffed with all our CNAs.....sometimes I see them sitting around when they could be giving baths. Not saying they don't work hard because our CNAs work their butt off. This kind of work is so hard and demanding that we take breaks any chance we get. That being said, we are working on hiring a bath tech.....some one that only does baths.

Now this is during my dayshift, not sure why nightshift doesn't do more baths!!!!

divaRN*

Specializes in ICU, medsurg/tele.

I used to work on a medsurg floor, but i currently work in an ICU. I feel that the bathing situation is very different for these 2 environemnts. In medsurg you are lucky if you are able to assess, medicate, feed and chart about all your patients by the time shift is over. A bath is the LAST thing on your mind. In fact, giving a bath means you are having a slow day. Even with CNAs it is hard for all pts to be bathed daily. They are running around checking blood sugars, vital signs (occasionally), helping with admissions, toileting patients, changing the incontinent ones and stocking up the unit. In med surg there isnt more to do for each patient, but there are less staff to accomplish these tasks and unfortunatley bathing tends to be put on the back burner.

In ICU it is very different. Only having 1-2 patients allows you time to be able to fully provide the care your patient deserves. This includes the simple things that would be nice to have and help you feel better but are not a necessity and rarely happen on

medsurg floors. We have time to assess, medicate, feed and chart about our patients. We also have time to give baths (working nights we ask the pt if they prefer a bath at night or in the am. if they are intubated they get a bath at a time that works best for the rn, usually in the am) some CNAs will shave beards, we will also include washing their hair with the bath. I also throw in a mini foot massage with lotion at the end of the bath. They get turned every 2 hours and get a backrub with lotion each turn. I even have time to stay and chat if the patient is in a talkative mood. Patients are always super happy after getting bathed and its upseting that we can not give every patient in the hospital the care they need to feel good about themselves and get better to go home.

I feel that staffing on medsurg floors is very inadequate and makes it impossible to provide this care for our patients.

Five&Two Will Do

Specializes in cardiology/oncology/MICU. Has 3 years experience.

Why no baths?

Well, I do make an effort to make sure my bed ridden pts get bathed while I'm working. But to be honest with you, I see that as a problem where i work as well and the reason is we stay so busy that there is just not enough time in the day to achieve everything we would like. Also there are a lot of times we will be short staffed. However, if we are fully staffed with all our CNAs.....sometimes I see them sitting around when they could be giving baths. Not saying they don't work hard because our CNAs work their butt off. This kind of work is so hard and demanding that we take breaks any chance we get. That being said, we are working on hiring a bath tech.....some one that only does baths.

Now this is during my dayshift, not sure why nightshift doesn't do more baths!!!!

Funny that you ask that it seems like the dayshift here expects us to do the personal care:confused:

Five&Two Will Do

Specializes in cardiology/oncology/MICU. Has 3 years experience.

I used to work on a medsurg floor, but i currently work in an ICU. I feel that the bathing situation is very different for these 2 environemnts. In medsurg you are lucky if you are able to assess, medicate, feed and chart about all your patients by the time shift is over. A bath is the LAST thing on your mind. In fact, giving a bath means you are having a slow day. Even with CNAs it is hard for all pts to be bathed daily. They are running around checking blood sugars, vital signs (occasionally), helping with admissions, toileting patients, changing the incontinent ones and stocking up the unit. In med surg there isnt more to do for each patient, but there are less staff to accomplish these tasks and unfortunatley bathing tends to be put on the back burner.

In ICU it is very different. Only having 1-2 patients allows you time to be able to fully provide the care your patient deserves. This includes the simple things that would be nice to have and help you feel better but are not a necessity and rarely happen on

medsurg floors. We have time to assess, medicate, feed and chart about our patients. We also have time to give baths (working nights we ask the pt if they prefer a bath at night or in the am. if they are intubated they get a bath at a time that works best for the rn, usually in the am) some CNAs will shave beards, we will also include washing their hair with the bath. I also throw in a mini foot massage with lotion at the end of the bath. They get turned every 2 hours and get a backrub with lotion each turn. I even have time to stay and chat if the patient is in a talkative mood. Patients are always super happy after getting bathed and its upseting that we can not give every patient in the hospital the care they need to feel good about themselves and get better to go home.

I feel that staffing on medsurg floors is very inadequate and makes it impossible to provide this care for our patients.

I love it! That is one of the reasons I love the ICU. I know that if I was in the hospital I would want a nurse like you looking after me. I always do for them what I would want for me:)

RockinChick66

Specializes in LTC, medsurg. Has 10 years experience.

Funny that you ask that it seems like the dayshift here expects us to do the personal care:confused:

I'm not trying to take any stabs at any one shift. I don't work nights so I don't know what goes on. I'm just stating why I don't do more baths or why a lot of times I don't see them being done during my shift.

Sorry if you misunderstood my comment.

solneeshka, BSN, RN

Specializes in PACU, Surgery, Acute Medicine. Has 12 years experience.

They might have been bad nurses, or they might have been overloaded nurses. Hard to say. Inappropriate, either way!

Fiona59

Has 18 years experience.

OK. Baths. We don't use the tubs in my hospital because Infection Control has said no baths (think of those swirly head things, when was the last time they were stripped dow and really cleaned).

We have showers. If you can walk, you shower yourself. The staff will set up and clean up after you.

Bedbaths are for the bedbound who can't be moved to a shower stall.

We give you a basin, washcloth, towel and body wash and come back and do your back and the bits you can't reach.

If you were a planned admission, it is expected that you bring your own wash kit, I mean the razors in our hospital leave you looking like a candidate for plastics to consult.

RockinChick66

Specializes in LTC, medsurg. Has 10 years experience.

I used to work on a medsurg floor, but i currently work in an ICU. I feel that the bathing situation is very different for these 2 environemnts. In medsurg you are lucky if you are able to assess, medicate, feed and chart about all your patients by the time shift is over. A bath is the LAST thing on your mind. In fact, giving a bath means you are having a slow day. Even with CNAs it is hard for all pts to be bathed daily. They are running around checking blood sugars, vital signs (occasionally), helping with admissions, toileting patients, changing the incontinent ones and stocking up the unit. In med surg there isnt more to do for each patient, but there are less staff to accomplish these tasks and unfortunatley bathing tends to be put on the back burner.

In ICU it is very different. Only having 1-2 patients allows you time to be able to fully provide the care your patient deserves. This includes the simple things that would be nice to have and help you feel better but are not a necessity and rarely happen on

medsurg floors. We have time to assess, medicate, feed and chart about our patients. We also have time to give baths (working nights we ask the pt if they prefer a bath at night or in the am. if they are intubated they get a bath at a time that works best for the rn, usually in the am) some CNAs will shave beards, we will also include washing their hair with the bath. I also throw in a mini foot massage with lotion at the end of the bath. They get turned every 2 hours and get a backrub with lotion each turn. I even have time to stay and chat if the patient is in a talkative mood. Patients are always super happy after getting bathed and its upseting that we can not give every patient in the hospital the care they need to feel good about themselves and get better to go home.

I feel that staffing on medsurg floors is very inadequate and makes it impossible to provide this care for our patients.

You are exactly right!! You said exactly what I wanted to say regarding a medsurg floor.

Trying to type on an iPad here makes it a little more difficult for me to type.:p

However, I'm a very good nurse too and make every possible effort to bathe my patients and give the ones that can be of some assistance to them selves items to bath themselves while changing their linen. Most the time, I'm doing the work myself as the CNAs are always too busy doing something and refuse to help me. I'm just saying, most patients on my floor do not get baths like is needed.

TonyaM73, ASN, RN

Specializes in MED/SURG STROKE UNIT, LTC SUPER., IMU. Has 10 years experience.

Honestly, by the time I give all the meds, do all the procedures, check all the charts, document the assessments, call all the docs with changes in the patients or with all of the questions that the patients forgot to ask them when there were there, updated all of the family members that have called to check on the patients, meds, meds and more meds, stopped to pee twice and shoveled some food in my mouth for about 10minutes out of 13-14 hours of the day.....I have not had any time to help each patient to bath. I hope that my PCT would have done that, but depending on the patients that you have, you are bouncing between call bells all day long

I had a group the other day when room 1 would call and I would go in there, then while I was in there room 2 would call. I would leave room 1 when I was done with what they wanted and got to room 2. When I was in room 2, room 3 was calling. I would leave room 2 when I was done with what they wanted and go to room 3. While in room 3, room 1 was calling again. I did this little dance from 7am until about 3pm. Which meant that I got no charting done, no doctors orders done (which would tell me I had procedures that needed to be started or new meds.), I was not able to go to the bathroom in that entire time and I did not get anything to eat for the day until about 4pm.

Honestly, we would all love to take care of you from head to foot and make sure that every patient is bathed and has absolutly no problems or needs, but when you have so many patients and so much that HAS to be done by the nurse, you literally don't have time. I get so frustrated, because at the end of the day I think of all of the things that I really wanted to do for each and every patient and just was not able to do. This stuff literally wakes me up in the middle of the night and I say....did I get that cup of coffee for that patient or did I forget because the other guy's bp was 200/100?

RockinChick66

Specializes in LTC, medsurg. Has 10 years experience.

Honestly, by the time I give all the meds, do all the procedures, check all the charts, document the assessments, call all the docs with changes in the patients or with all of the questions that the patients forgot to ask them when there were there, updated all of the family members that have called to check on the patients, meds, meds and more meds, stopped to pee twice and shoveled some food in my mouth for about 10minutes out of 13-14 hours of the day.....I have not had any time to help each patient to bath. I hope that my PCT would have done that, but depending on the patients that you have, you are bouncing between call bells all day long

I had a group the other day when room 1 would call and I would go in there, then while I was in there room 2 would call. I would leave room 1 when I was done with what they wanted and got to room 2. When I was in room 2, room 3 was calling. I would leave room 2 when I was done with what they wanted and go to room 3. While in room 3, room 1 was calling again. I did this little dance from 7am until about 3pm. Which meant that I got no charting done, no doctors orders done (which would tell me I had procedures that needed to be started or new meds.), I was not able to go to the bathroom in that entire time and I did not get anything to eat for the day until about 4pm.

Honestly, we would all love to take care of you from head to foot and make sure that every patient is bathed and has absolutly no problems or needs, but when you have so many patients and so much that HAS to be done by the nurse, you literally don't have time. I get so frustrated, because at the end of the day I think of all of the things that I really wanted to do for each and every patient and just was not able to do. This stuff literally wakes me up in the middle of the night and I say....did I get that cup of coffee for that patient or did I forget because the other guy's bp was 200/100?

I completely understand. And this doesn't mean that you're not a good nurse or give inappropriate care because the bath wasn't done.

Medsurg is just crazy!

Five&Two Will Do

Specializes in cardiology/oncology/MICU. Has 3 years experience.

I'm not trying to take any stabs at any one shift. I don't work nights so I don't know what goes on. I'm just stating why I don't do more baths or why a lot of times I don't see them being done during my shift.

Sorry if you misunderstood my comment.

I did not misunderstand you. Every unit is different. I was just saying that is how it is where I work. No worries:clown:

TonyaM73, ASN, RN

Specializes in MED/SURG STROKE UNIT, LTC SUPER., IMU. Has 10 years experience.

Thank you Kanga. There are times when I feel like such a pitiful excuse for a nurse because I can't be everywhere at once. I gave safe care, but did I do everything for each and every person to make them feel better or more comfortable? It is absolutely insane on med/surg floors with all of the admissions, discharges, procedures and just the amount of patients. Our top patient load is 7, which is fine if you don't have any heavy cases or if everyone is stable with no discharges and admissions. Once you start throwing any of that in there you might as well hang it up.....you will be there until 9pm at night finishing up and then turn around to be there at 6:45am the next day only to be yelled at for leaving so late.

Re: why doesn't nightshift do more baths...

Unless the pt is completely out of it, can you imagine the hollering that would be done if we were waking them up in the middle of the night for a bath? More hollering than for not bathing them at all. And there's only so much you can do in the first few hours of the shift.

Re: why doesn't dayshift do more baths...

If you're walkie talkie, you need to be bathing yourself. If you're not totally out of it, you need to do what you can for yourself, and get help with the rest. But unfortunately, since hospitals staff for the staff to do twice as much work as is humanly possible, bathing is going to be at the bottom of the to do list, underneath the tasks that will keep you alive.

Re: Family members that think their pt didn't get bathed the whole time....

One, did you ask? Two, I've had many a patient that refuses hygiene care, then complains to the family that they didn't get any. Three, I've often mixed in cleaning a few areas when I'm changing diapers. So while I never go in and give a "bath," over the course of the shift everywhere has been bathed. But it was all done while I kicked the family out of the room, so in their mind, I'm sooooo lazy and never gave the pt a bath.

But overall, staffing in the hospital sucks. And quite honestly, these days, if you make it out alive, you're doing better than some patients. And usually the ones that complain about things like not getting a bath were either well enough to bathe themselves or were so sick that their bath was pre-empted by saving their life.

I think I should add I was not on a floor it seemed more like a cross between icu and a floor there where maybe 10 rooms in all if that and there seemed to be lots of staff because I had my vs done a lot and there where 3 people doing them at each shift for the most part they where grate, well all but this one nurse but anyway . I never waited more then 5 min. For someone to come when I called so thats why I just to done get it. That seemed to be the olney thing that buged me well that and being woken up at night for vs , blood draws, shots , meds ,

RockinChick66

Specializes in LTC, medsurg. Has 10 years experience.

Thank you Kanga. There are times when I feel like such a pitiful excuse for a nurse because I can't be everywhere at once. I gave safe care, but did I do everything for each and every person to make them feel better or more comfortable? It is absolutely insane on med/surg floors with all of the admissions, discharges, procedures and just the amount of patients. Our top patient load is 7, which is fine if you don't have any heavy cases or if everyone is stable with no discharges and admissions. Once you start throwing any of that in there you might as well hang it up.....you will be there until 9pm at night finishing up and then turn around to be there at 6:45am the next day only to be yelled at for leaving so late.

Sometimes I feel the same way, but I think we do the best we can with the circumstances. Sometimes I'll have 3 out of 6 patients that may be getting dilaudid or morphine q2h or q3h, so I'm just running from room to room all day constantly pushing these meds...... all while knowing in the back of my mind that I need to squeeze in a bath for a poor little incontinent bed ridden patient that never asks or calls for anything. Medsurg is extremely hard work, and unless someone has worked a mile in our shoes, will never know why baths can't get done. I'm thankful for the post by the ICU nurse that use to work medsurg who understands the day in a life of a medsurg nurse!

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