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Nursing - Helping in Bathing the Patient | 11th Nursing : Chapter 8 : Nursing Procedures

Chapter: 11th Nursing : Chapter 8 : Nursing Procedures

Helping in Bathing the Patient

Giving a bed bath means washing someone who is in bed.

Helping in Bathing the Patient

Giving a bed bath means washing someone who is in bed. A bed bath cleans the skin and helps keep the skin free of infection. It helps to relax the person being bathed and help him feel better. Let the person wash himself as much as possible. Several types of bath can be used depending upon the clients need. Bath may be used for cleansing or for therapeutic measures related to some skin problems.


Types of Therapeutic Bath

Sitz Bath - To decrease pain and inflammation after rectal or perineal surgery or pain relief from hemorrhoids.

Hot water bath - To relieve muscle spasm and muscle tension.

Warm water bath - To relax and sooth.

Cool water bath - To decrease fever and to reduce muscle tension.

Oatmeal or aveneo - To sooth irritated skin, softens and lubricates dry scaly skin.

Corn starch - To sooth skin irritation.




Bathing a bedridden patient in bed.


·           To clean the body off dirt and bacteria. To increase elimination through the skin. To prevent bed sore.

·           To simulate circulation.

·           To promote comfort to the patient. To regulate body temperature.

·           To relieve fatigue.

·           To provide active and passive exercise. To promote the feeling of wellbeing.

Articles Needed

·           Makintosh and 2 bed sheets Disposable gloves.

·           Water basin (bowl) to hold the water for the bed bath.

·           Soft, lightweight cotton or flannel blanket.

·           Bath towel and wash cloth.

·           Soap, powder, lotion, deodorant. Scissors and nail cutters

·           comb, hairbrush and hair oil.

·           mouth care supplies, such as toothbrush and toothpaste.

·           Kidney tray and paper bag.

·           Clothing, such as underwear and clean bedclothes or robe.

Preparation of Client and Unit

1.        Close the windows or turn up the heat to keep the room warm while giving the bath.

2.        Explain the procedure to the patient. Remove the unnecessary items from the work area.

3.        Wash hands and put on gloves.

4.        Provide privacy Gather the necessary articles at the bedside.

5.        Adjust the height of the bed to the comfortable working of the nurse.

Fill the basin with warm water. The temperature of the water should not be higher than 115° F (46 ° C) using a bath thermometer.

Put the soft blanket over the top sheet that is covering the person. Pull back the top sheet to keep it from getting wet. Help remove the person’s clothes.

6.        Offer bed pan or urinal if necessary. Keep the client flat, if the condition permits. Remove extra pillows and backrest.

7.        Remove gloves, wash hands

8.        Place the client is the supine position near the ride of the bed.


1.        Close the window or door and screen the bed to prevent draught and to avoid exposure.

2.        To collect the equipment next to the patients bed.

3.        And arrange the items conveniently at the bed side.

4.        Explain the procedure to the patient and get his cooperation.

5.        Protect the bed with mackintosh and sheet.

6.        Remove the patients linen and cover the patient.

7.        Take water in the basin and feel with the back of your hand. The temperature should be comfortably hot.

8.        With wet sponge towel, moisten the patient’s face first.

9.        Apply soap. Carefully wash patient’s face, ears and front of the neck. Dry with the towel.

10.   Wash the left hand first and the right hand. Support patient’s arm by holding the wrist. Wash well between fingers. The patient may place hands in basin.

11.   Remove the sheet up to the waist, ask the patients and keep the arms above his head. It will be easy to clean the axillae in this position. Clean chest and abdomen.

12.   Change water and turn the patient to the side and sponge his back. Give long firm strokes from back of neck to the buttocks. Watch for any redness over the pressure areas.

13.   Do the left leg first and then the right. Have the patient’s knee flexed so to facilitate washing. Give the bed pan and ask the patient to clean the genitals. If the patient is unable to do help to do it for him. Patient should be given privacy during this.

14.   This back care is done applying alcohol, massage back,use long firm strokes starting from back of the neck out over the shoulders and down to the buttocks. Use also rotation motion to increase the blood circulation. Extra attention to be given to the pressure areas.

15.   Apply powder if indicated. This depends upon the condition of the skin. If the skin is wrinked the application of oils/creams is advisable.

16.   If the patients is having dribbling of urine, zinc cream is applied.

17.   Role up the mackintosh and sheet when the patient is on the side. Then remove it from the other side. Put the soiled linen in the receptacle (bucket for soiled linen).

18.   Dress up the patient and remove the top sheet.

19.   The bed is kept tidy and dry.

20.   The patient is given a warm drink.

21.   Remove the articles from the bed side.

22.   Clean and replace in respective places.

23.   Send soiled linen for wash.

After the bath

·           Rub lotion onto the person’s arms, legs, feet, or other dry skin areas. Help to dress the person. Offer to help him with mouth, hair, foot, or nail care.

·           Throw away the dirty water and clean the washbasin. Put away items used to give the bath.

·           The person has shaking chills or his temperature is over 101°F (38.3° C).

·           The person has skin that is red or sore. These may be areas where the skin is broken down or getting infected.

·           You have questions or concerns about the person’s injury/illness or medicine.

·           Seek care immediately if:

·           The person has trouble breathing all of a sudden.

·           The person has signs of a heart attack

·           Chest pain or pressure that spreads to your arms, jaw, or back. Nausea (sick to your stomach), Trouble breathing, Sweating.


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