Jump to content

Question regarding lack of bed bath in ICU

Nurses   (6,482 Views 37 Comments)
by aem31 aem31 (New Member) New Member

2,849 Visitors; 70 Posts

advertisement

Hi, everyone. I'm a first year nursing student and I know basically nothing about the nursing process. I've had a terrible start to my first semester. The night of my first day of class my husband ingested an entire bottle of tylenol. I called an ambulance and he was later admitted to the ICU. He was there from Monday night through today (Thursday). On Tuesday morning I went to visit him and he was sleeping the whole time. He woke once and vomited on himself. The nurses changed his sheets. The next day he woke and still had an IV but they had removed his NG tube. He was awake and aware. That night (Wednesday) he soiled himself twice through the night. Same thing, nurses changed his bedding. Thursday they removed his IV and he was later discharged.

My question is....why was he not given a bed bath? Is that a normal thing in these circumstances? I ask from two viewpoints, that of a student who is curious about typical procedures and that of a wife who is a little annoyed at the lack of attention.

Thoughts?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

8,366 Visitors; 839 Posts

First, I'm sorry to hear about your circumstance, and I hope you and your husband are doing well.

Regarding his bath, were you with him every minute of his stay?

Also, this is something you should take up with the hospital. We weren't there, we don't know the hospital, nor do we know their policies and procedures.

Often times pt's are cleaned as the lines are being changed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

2,849 Visitors; 70 Posts

I wasn't there every second. I had considered your point. I do know that from the time he soiled himself he was fully aware and would know if he had been bathed. He was complaining that he hadn't. I do agree it should be discussed with the hospital. I was simply curious if anyone could offer an explanation that made sense. I don't want to go half-cocked and look foolish. Perhaps, there is a reasonable explanation I had overlooked?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

evolvingrn works as a RN.

8,201 Visitors; 1,035 Posts

well if he soiled himself and he didn't have that on him when he left... plus they changed the sheets ect....some type of peri-care/ bed bath went on. I find it hard to believe that your dh was fully cognizant if he was still incontinent. Also was this a suicide attempt? because i would find it interesting that he did that on your first night of nursing classes.........

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Altra works as a staff / charge RN in a teaching hospital - I work .

40,127 Visitors; 6,255 Posts

In reading your post ... you do not state that, for example, he had dried vomitus or BM on his skin. You state that your husband states he was not given a bath.

An ICU stay is an overwhelming experience, even for an alert & oriented patient. Even my stable, alert patients often forget what happened an hour ago.

Bottom line ... I think you need to confidently reassure your husband that he was indeed bathed during his stay. And thank goodness he's around for the two of you to be stressing about the possible lack of a bath.

Just my :twocents:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

JoyfulRN14 works as a Registered Nurse.

4,272 Visitors; 86 Posts

I don't want to use this as an excuse, because I don't know the exact situation. But just from experience, sometimes the nurse can be just so gosh darn busy that bed baths can be neglected. I just finished my first month in the ICU. I TRY to give a decent bedbath on my shift if I know the nurse the night before did not. I at least will always do a few areas on my shift - face, armpits, groin, and rear end, along with any skin folds my patient may have, and any areas that are visibly soiled. Sometimes it is hard to even find the 10 minutes in the day to do that (but I always manage).

Perhaps the nurses your husband had were also taking care of a very critical patient, and the sad fact of the ICU is that if you are the less critical patient, you may not get as much attention as you deserve.

I am sorry for your situation, that sounds so stressful to have to be concerned with while you're just starting out in nursing school. Good luck with everything.

Edited by JoyfulRN14

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
advertisement

netglow works as a RN.

33,503 Visitors; 4,412 Posts

Easy now, everybody.

So sorry, all this going on, OP. Hang in there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

2,849 Visitors; 70 Posts

Good thoughts from all of you. I was so pleased with the nurses emotional support. They were so kind and helpful whenever I asked questions and did so much to reassure me. In fact, they inspired me to want to be able to do for someone else what they did for me and my family this week. I don't want to dwell on this tiny issue since I can't possibly have all the facts and the truth is that where it counted they excelled. I don't mean to sound ungrateful. Ugh, my emotions are still just really all over the place.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

2,849 Visitors; 70 Posts

well if he soiled himself and he didn't have that on him when he left... plus they changed the sheets ect....some type of peri-care/ bed bath went on. I find it hard to believe that your dh was fully cognizant if he was still incontinent. Also was this a suicide attempt? because i would find it interesting that he did that on your first night of nursing classes.........

I'd love to say that he just had a really bad headache, but 100 tylenol (give or take) for a headache would seem a bit like overkill. Um, yeah. It was a suicide attempt. I don't think it had anything to do with my starting school. There are other issues at hand. Thankfully, after 17 doses of mucomyst, the doctor reported no liver damage.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

8,366 Visitors; 839 Posts

Thankfully, after 17 doses of mucomyst, the doctor reported no liver damage.

This is wonderful news. I've seen how it turns out when this is not the case and it is not pretty.

I'm glad to hear he did not harm his liver.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

TiffyRN has 26 years experience as a ADN, BSN and works as a RN.

15,550 Visitors; 2,244 Posts

Certainly this does happen and it is not right. You would be within your rights to raise your concerns to the hospital.

In my experience (which has been a long time since I worked with adults), if a patient requires cleaning from stool incontinence and a bed change, we are likely going to have most supplies out needed for a bath, we will clean the soiled area, swab up the armpits and call it a bath. Not every bath (particularly in an ICU setting) involves a thorough head to toe scubbing, shampooing and lotioning. You mentioned your husband was sleeping the first day you visited. Also he had some vomiting. Is it possible he was not fully aware during part of his stay in the ICU? Many anti-nausea meds are sedating. Also some anti-anxiety meds (and sleep meds) can cause amnesia.

I wish you strength in this time. Nursing school is hard enough when everything else is perfect. I do hope you have a support system.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

nursel56 has 25+ years experience and works as a Home health, private duty.

1 Follower; 43,210 Visitors; 6,650 Posts

Holding good thoughts for the two of you. That's rough. ((aem))

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
  • Recently Browsing 0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×