How to bathe a bedridden patient in 7 steps?
Bathing time is an important part of the daily routine in caring for a bedridden patient. Not only are you ensuring skin cleanliness, which despite the inactivity, still emanates oils and sweat, but adds a small yet substantial advantage in the general condition of the patient and their recovery process.
It is highly relevant to have the right elements and supplies handy next to the bed at the time of bath:
- Warm water (in a large bowl).
- Warm cloths or prefabricated washcloths.
- Soap or body wash(preferably for sensitive skin).
- Lamp (sometimes necessary when inspecting the skin).
- Rinse-free shampoo cap or a dry shampoo.
- Shaving supplies.
Most sponge baths follow 7 basic steps when cleansing the patient:
- Raise the bed to a comfortable height to avoid straining your back. And set a private scenario (pulling the curtain around the bed or locking the room's door).
- Introduce yourself to the patient and announce that you will be giving them a bed bath.
- Uncover only the area you are washing discreetly to prevent the patient from getting cold and providing privacy.
- With the patient lying on their back, start washing their hair and head moving toward their feet. Then roll the patient to their side and wash the back following the same head-to-toe order. After washing the hair make sure you comb it through to avoid any tangles.
- Always wet the skin first and then gently apply the soap. Keep one cloth specifically for soap and another for rinsing. Ask the patient if you are rubbing to hard.
- After rinsing the skin, pat the area dry. And depending on the skin apply lotion.
- When cleansing the patient's private area follow a front-to-back order, start first with the genitals and then towards the buttocks. Make sure you dry the skin and apply any incontinence barrier spray or perineal protective barrier and put on the briefs or any other incontinence guard.
Since it is a sensitive moment for the patient and can be uncomfortable to most, maintain a respectful manner at all times and ask the patient to communicate any distress or soreness they might be feeling.
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