LPN students have to give bed baths to classmates?!

Nursing Students LPN/LVN Students


In class today, our instructor informed us that we would be required to give one another bed baths as part of the course. The majority of the class are females, and we also have a few men. We were told the men would work with the men, the women with the women.

Basically, we'd be required to bring a bathing suit to class, change and be (I hate to use the term this way) forced to recieve a bed bath. For many of us, this doesn't exactly sit well. I understand the experience is to give us a sense of empathy and compassion for patients, but for me personally, this is going a bit over the line and even though this is coming around in a few weeks, I'm already feeling extremely violated

We were also informed that if we refused, we would be kicked out of the program. Also, many of us don't even own bathing suits - as we were discussing it on break, about 70% of us don't even own one; we brought this up to our instructor and were told that if we didn't own one, we'd have to do it in our bras and underwear. Personally, this is really overwhelming for me.

Now, mind you, I do not have anything against giving a bath or bed bath to an individual - I worked in a NYS ARC for a period of time and that was part of my job as a direct support professional.

My issues with this are extremely personal - its not about stretch marks from pregnancy or weight gain like many of the other women had mentioned; I have some severe scarring from being a victim of abuse years ago. Its not something I wish to flaunt or have to explain to people. Even going to the doctor's office, I have a very difficult time undressing and more often than not, I keep my clothing on.

I read a previous post from 2008 on the subject - how many LPN students had to go through the same procedures, but there were also alternatives - dry baths, with students fully clothed, etc (I could deal with that).

I don't want to lose this oppertunity because of this (once again, refusal = dismissal from the program).

What would you do??

why don't you discuss that personally with your instructor and see if you guys can reach a compromise, i did the same with my teacher and she said i could wear shorts n a t-shirt, moreover you will be covered with a blanket,

In my program we did not have to do bedbaths, but if we did we would leave our clothes on and pretend. I think that is crazy that you have to do that. Ugh!

Specializes in Geriatrics.

Wow, that's crazy! We went over bed baths very briefly in lab in my program, but when we practiced on each other we kept our clothes on. We didn't have to do a "real" bed bath, we just had to pretend.

I would talk to your teacher, maybe she can compromise. I'm sure there are other students who feel the same way you do.

I think I would be contacting a lawyer to see what my options were. That is simply ridiculous.

My husband's RN class had to give breast exams to each other; I would have had a real issue with that. I have breast implants and I wouldn't want my entire class being privvy to that knowledge. The men were supposed to perform testicular exams on each other, but eventually weren't required to do anything since there were only two of them. I thought that was crap when he told me about it.

That is complete and total bull.

U need to get as many of your classmates together as you can and talk to your instructor.

If there is still not a compromise made, I would do as the above poster said and contact an attorney. I certainly wouldnt be okay with that either

Thanks for the warning, I dont own a bathing suit either and if this is the case I need to lose some weight.

Something really does not sound right here. Next thing you know, she'll have you catherizing each other or performing lady partsl exams on each other. There's got to be more than you're saying. I would drop an anonymous phone call to your state's agency that licenses nursing programs and explain the situation.

If you're kicked out of a program for not wanting to give a fellow student a bed bath--I'd smell a lawsuit coming on. If said student does not want to be "given" a bed bath--and he/she must undergo it to stay in the program--that's considered battery.

And ANY student--male or female--touching another's genitalia (male testicular exams) is another lawsuit coming.

Bathing nursing students seems to be common practice. Normally i'd say suck it up BUT a true history of abuse deserves a private conversation with your instructor. Regardless of physical scars, if being bathed/watched by another student would be triggering for you, I imagine they will find an alternative.

Just remember to approach this as a personal issue and not a whiney "the whole class hates this" type of thing.

Specializes in Perinatal.

I'm in an RN program and that was one of our first check-offs, we had to do bed-baths on a classmate. We were given the option of a bathing suit or shorts and a tanktop. It wasn't a big deal, the only people that were there was the classmate and the instructor. I can see your situation being different, so I hope you can get it worked out. Ours was the same way; you either passed or you ended the program because you weren't going to be able to move on.

This just seems to me like they're lazy. I've never had a shortage of bed bath opportunities at clinicals. And it's not exactly rocket science. Surely they could have you check off on an actualy patient?! I understand needing to check off on IV's and things before you actually do them...but once again...BED BATH. I just can't understand why you'd even be wasting class time doing this!!!

Specializes in Critical Care, Postpartum.

I first laughed, but as I continued reading I got disgusted. Hope all the students and the teacher can come to better compromise then stripping. A pretend bath sounds better. But, come together as a class to oppose her idea. Is this usually done in the program? What were the results? Do a little investigation.

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