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Nursing school: Bizarre practice in learning to bed bath..

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by Cat_LPN Cat_LPN (New Member) New Member

Cat_LPN works as a staff nurse.

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This is too much: :uhoh3:

My significant other came home the other day from nursing school (3rd day) stating that he is going to need to bring his bathing suit to school because they are learning to give bed baths and will be practicing on EACH OTHER. I honestly didn't believe him but he insists that it's true, and that he's heard from more than one instructor that they really will be stripped down to bathing suits and literally, bathing EACH OTHER with soap and water.:eek:

I find this astounding that in this day and age, an accredited (community) college would ever think this is appropriate practice to use as a learning tool! I can think of so many things wrong with this on so many levels- for starters, it's a total invasion of privacy, degrading, embarrassing, unprofessional, and at the very least, simply ineffective! (How are they going to proper peri-care? That is something VERY important that I feel isn't emphasized enough on in schools).

Apparently the justification for the practice is that 'the dummies can't get wet'. (No kidding, that's why every other nursing school used dry cloths to 'pretend' bathe). No one I know has ever heard of this. I've informally polled people at work and they all think it's just as bizarre as I do. Disturbing, really.

I will be contacting, (anonymously), the school to inquire what this is all about. I really cannot thinking of a worthy justification for it, other than knowing how it feels to be 'exposed' as a patient??

i just don't know.

Has anyone else heard of this type of thing? I just can't imagine being bathed by my classmates! Even when we learned how to apply EKG's we had the right to volunteer NOT to be a subject (I wasn't). I'm super modest! He even said that there is a quite heavy set girl in the class who is very mortified by this.

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1louise1 works as a RN-Telemetry.

2,868 Visitors; 88 Posts

we had to do this in my program too, of course they were flexible about it.

i just thanked god we weren't one of the programs that had us practice NG tube and urinary catheter insertions on each other in skills lab. can you imagine!?!

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casi has 3 years experience and works as a LTC RN.

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For my CNA class on bath day we were expected to wear tank tops and shorts. We all got soaped up and wiped down.

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jrw03282009 has 1 years experience.

3,726 Visitors; 139 Posts

WOW...... I have NEVER heard of this! I would NOT have done it had I been asked and we did as you did in school. We practiced with DRY cloths on the maniquin. We got our practice out in the field when doing it for real. Maybe they have a new retro instructor that has crazy bright ideas. Nursing school is hard enough with the clics than to strip to your skivies when you are a tad bit over-sized, in front of them!!! No way...

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nicoleRN831 works as a Telemetry Nurse.

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I went to a hospital based nursing school in NJ for 1 semester and we had to do the same thing. We had to wash the face, arms, back, and legs. And then we had to cream the students back and feet. We had to then tell the teacher how we would wash the perineum. It was just the teacher and you and the person you were washing in the room with you. We picked our friends to wash so it wasn't as uncomfortable if it was someone we didn't talk to in class. We basically just laughed thru it...

I also went to a Community College and we had to wash one of the dummies, but we used real water and soap on them.

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BacktotheBeach has 4 years experience.

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My community college had to do this for Nurse Aid Training. It was awful. Very few wore bathing suits, most just shorts and tanks. I wore capri workout pants and a tank. I'm not going any less than that!! I hope we don't repeat this in NS this fall.

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NRSKarenRN has 40 years experience as a BSN and works as a Registered Nurse, Home Health.

5 Followers; 9 Articles; 159,733 Visitors; 14,455 Posts

I really cannot thinking of a worthy justification for it, other than knowing how it feels to be 'exposed' as a patient??

Has anyone else heard of this type of thing? I just can't imagine being bathed by my classmates! Even when we learned how to apply EKG's we had the right to volunteer NOT to be a subject (I wasn't). I'm super modest! He even said that there is a quite heavy set girl in the class who is very mortified by this.

Your post dug up memories as 1976 student undergoing 1st class: Bathing 101 accompanied by bedmaking

Your angst over being super modest + being bathed by a classmate is the same reaction some patients have to being bathed, forced to stay in a bed and be dictated to by nurses and doctors. This is a learning experience re empathy, privacy protections and how to deal with patient embarrassment. More intimate tasks: peri care, along with foley insertion can be accomplished with teaching mannequin...Is "Mrs Chase" still around?

We also practiced "occupied bed making" skills. Students concerned about modesty practiced behind a screaned partition.

It can also be viewed as a student bonding experience: "we survived the evil instructors" and helps break the ice discussing feelings about experience with classmates. Does help you be more empathetic to the patient.

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BluegrassRN has 14 years experience and works as a medical floor RN.

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If it's an "embarrassing degrading invasion of privacy" for the students, imagine how the patients feel? If the students respond so strongly to it, perhaps it is an extremely effective learning tool, to remind them that a bed bath can be a very emotionally difficult activity for a patient.

I did this in nursing school, and I wasn't emotionally scarred for life. I guess I didn't really even think much about it at the time, I just assumed every school did this.

I read an article about a medical school that makes it's students spend 24 hours as a patient in the hospital. IV infusing, lying in bed, getting labs and vitals drawn, having to call for assistance to the bathroom, having routine assessments, etc. I wish we would all be able to do that.

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AgentBeast has 5 years experience as a BSN, RN and works as a Registered Nurse.

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Seriously, what is the ******* point? How can someone possibly screw up giving someone a bath? What, is somebody going to think "Oh the bar of soap goes up the ass and then I jam this shower head down someone's throat? Wet, lather, rinse, dry, seriously it's not that hard that a class period needs to be dedicated to it. I can understand the empathy part but come on, if you can't understand before this that someone may be uncomfortable having some random Nurse Aid/Nurse giving them a bath it is time to look into another career.

Edit: For the record I would do it mainly because I don't give a crap, I'm just questioning what it actually teaches. It seems like a glorious waste of valuable classroom/lab time that could better be spent learning more complicated skills.

Edited by AgentBeast

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53,514 Visitors; 11,191 Posts

we never even practiced bed baths in school.

never.

no mannequin, no people...only reading about it.

my very first pt i gave a bed bath to, was a middle-aged man who wanted me to do ONLY peri care.

talk about mortified.

*emotionally scarred for long, long time*;)

leslie

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realnursealso/LPN works as a Licensed Practical Nurse.

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How else would people learn? Good lord, it's no biggy. I just don't get the overreaction. It's not like you are very ill, made to remove your clothes, get into a strange bed, with all kinds of unknown equipment around you, and put on some piece of clothing that ties down the back, even though it's impossible for you to reach the ties, hopefully all of the ties are there. It flaps back and forth and the only way to cover yourself is to put one of those garments on backwards. Then the next morning some stranger comes in to bathe you. Now that would be scarey!

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emsboss works as a House Supervisor, Night Shift..

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Seriously, what is the ******* point? How can someone possibly screw up giving someone a bath? What, is somebody going to think "Oh the bar of soap goes up the ass and then I jam this shower head down someone's throat? Wet, lather, rinse, dry, seriously it's not that hard that a class period needs to be dedicated to it. I can understand the empathy part but come on, if you can't understand before this that someone may be uncomfortable having some random Nurse Aid/Nurse giving them a bath it is time to look into another career.

Edit: For the record I would do it mainly because I don't give a crap, I'm just questioning what it actually teaches. It seems like a glorious waste of valuable classroom/lab time that could better be spent learning more complicated skills.

It does teach things from a PATIENTs point of view... Not only did we bathe one another in our class, we also fed each other and brushed each others teeth... I learned a LOT from that day... The one learning that day, I believe now, was NOT the one giving the bath, it was the one recieving...

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