Bed bath; Sponge bath
Some patients cannot safely leave their beds to bathe. For these people, daily bed baths can help keep their skin healthy, control odor, and increase comfort. If moving the patient causes pain, plan to give the patient a bed bath after the person has received pain medicine and it has taken affect.
Encourage the patient to be involved as possible in bathing themselves.
A bed bath is a good time to inspect a patient's skin for redness and sores. Pay special attention to skin folds and bony areas when checking.
You will need:
If you wash the patient's hair, use either a dry shampoo that combs out or a basin that is designed for washing hair in bed. This kind of basin has a tube in the bottom that allows you to keep the bed dry before you later drain the water.
The following steps should be followed when giving a bed bath:
American Red Cross. Assisting with personal cleanliness and grooming. In: American Red Cross. American Red Cross Nurse Assistant Training Textbook. 3rd ed. American National Red Cross; 2013:chap 13.
Smith SF, Duell DJ, Martin BC, Gonzalez L, Aebersold M. Bathing, bedmaking, and maintaining skin integrity. In: Smith SF, Duell DJ, Martin BC, Gonzalez L, Aebersold M, eds. Clinical Nursing Skills: Basic to Advanced Skills. 9th ed. New York, NY: Pearson; 2017:chap 8.
Timby BK. Assisting with basic needs. In: Timby BK, ed. Fundamentals of nursing skills and concepts. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer Health: Lippincott Williams & Wilkens. 2013: unit 5.BACK TO TOP
Review Date: 11/15/2017
Reviewed By: Jennifer K. Mannheim, ARNP, Medical Staff, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health, Seattle Children's Hospital, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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