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Giving a Partial or Modified Bath to a Bed-Ridden Patient

If a patient is weak, s/he won’t be able to carry out his/her routine activities, and as a CNA, you will be required to help him/her with daily core activities like taking bath and getting dressed up. For general hygiene, patients must be given bath periodically on their beds as it is difficult to move such patients to the bathroom every time. Bathing gives a fresh and healthy feeling to the patients and help them recover fast. You must go through this article and acquaint yourself with the correct procedure before demonstrating this skill in the CNA exam.

Steps to be Followed to Make the Patient Ready for Bath

  • You must wash your hands properly before coming close to the patient.
  • Fill the basin with lukewarm water (temperature can be within 105 – 115 degree Fahrenheit) and check the temperature of the water with your elbow or inner wrist.
  • Pull down the curtains of the windows and rooms of the patient’s room before undressing to give him/her privacy.
  • If the patient is comfortable, let him/her remove the clothes himself/herself.
  • Remove the medical equipments which are not required.
  • To start with the procedure, wash off the patient’s face first. For this purpose, wet a clean towel or sponge in the lukewarm water; continue with cleaning his arms, underarms, chest, legs and perineal / genital region. You must use a new sponge for cleaning genital region and it must not be used for cleaning other body parts.
  • Take a clean and dry sponge / cloth to dry the body parts properly.
  • You must change the bed linen after the bathing process is over.
  • Apply cream / body lotion on the exposed parts of the patient.
  • Make the patient sit or lie down in a comfortable position and help him/her dress up. If s/he is at ease, let him/her put on clothes his own.
  • Dispose of the things that were used for making the patient bath like bathing sponge, soap, etc.
  • Wash your hands properly after the procedure is completed.

What examiner notices when you perform this skill?

The examiner observes the following points when you exhibit this skill.

  • Did you wash your hands properly before coming in contact with the patient?
  • Whether you followed the correct way to make the patient ready for taking the bath.
  • If you filled the basin with lukewarm water and checked the temperature of the water by dipping your wrist or elbow.
  • If you properly rinsed the face, arms, under arms, legs, chest and perineal region of the patient and used clean cloth to dry the body parts.
  • Whether you helped the patient in getting him/her dressed.
  • Did you change the bed linen after you are done with the bathing process?
  • Whether you dispose of the things that you utilize in the bathing process like soap and sponge?
  • If you washed your hands properly once the procedure is completed.

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Expert’s Tips

Patients must be made to bath every alternate day, if it is not possible every day. This will keep them clean, give them a fresh feeling and help them recover fast. Start rinsing with the face of the patient. All the body parts, especially genitals, must be washed properly and some talcum powder must be applied to prevent infection from spreading.