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Thread: To Bathe or not to bathe

  1. #1
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    To Bathe or not to bathe

    Well mark this day down, I actually gave a bed bath today. Usually 11-7 takes care of that most basic of nursing tasks. But I followed another male nurse and you know how those guys are. <j/k> So there I was . . . basin of hot water, soap, three wash cloths, three towels, water everywhere; on the bed, floor, walls, some on the patient. One of my fellow nurses comes up to me and asked why I was using water and not the ReadyBath? If you don't know what those are, they are eight moistened pads in a package that is heated in the microwave for 45 seconds. There is one towel for each of the body parts that are bathed. No rinsing, no drying. I've used them a couple of times for code brown but refuse to use them for complete baths on awake alert patients. Am I being too Old School?

    O_S

  2. #2
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    Re: To Bathe or not to bathe

    Absolutely not, Old School! I graduated in 2001, so that still makes me a new nurse. I dont think a bath is done right unless the patient, bed, floor, etc... is WET! The ready baths are convenient for "code browns" or for freshening up a patient but, I hate to say this, but they still smell when you're done. Nothing beats good old soap and water!

  3. #3
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    Re: To Bathe or not to bathe

    The best bath is with water and a REAL BAR OF SOAP. I sometimes squirt shaving cream in the water of my really smelly patients as well.

  4. #4
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    Re: To Bathe or not to bathe

    Well it kind of depends really. For some people those ready made baths are ok and I've seen ones that are nice, they smell good and dont' dry out the skin like soap and water do.

    However if you have a really sweaty patient or dirty, i feel that soap and H20 works well. At our hospitl we have a no rinse body soap that works well on our patients. Just wet wash cloth and dump some of the no rinse solution on the wash cloth and go to work.

    I think its personal preferance really as well as product. Some do the job better than others. But its your patient and you can do as you wish (well bath wise!)

  5. #5
    Super Moderator cougarnurse's Avatar
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    Re: To Bathe or not to bathe

    I had been in the hospital twice...only once that i can remember, though. I would prefer soap and water, but it depends on the patient. Keep up the good work!

    'Cat'

  6. #6
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    Re: To Bathe or not to bathe

    My hospital gives us johnson & johnson baby wash to bathe our patients with and I have to say I love it. The smell is fantastic! I always give baths with soap and water and never with wipes. They just smell so much better and we all know that when we smell good we all feel better about ourselves! I know that I would hate to feel like I need a bath and to be cleaned with wipes when I could have some soap and water. That's just my personal opinion

  7. #7
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    Re: To Bathe or not to bathe

    :clapping: Good Job girl. I am a night nurse in ICU. It is our policy to bathe all vented pt. and any confused pt. that are awake. I find it is the best way to do the most detailed assessment of your pt. You are going to find things that may go unnoticed and poss. same the pt a decub. or infection if discovered early. DMyers
    :houra: If it is to be. It is up to us as nurses. We need to stand together and not point fingers. We need to help each other for the good of our patients.

  8. #8
    Junior Member NEHuskerRN's Avatar
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    Re: To Bathe or not to bathe

    Honey, I graduated in 2005, and after being a CNA for 2yrs thru school, REFUSE to use the ReadyBathLeaveThemSlimy packs for bathing...only for my excoriated periareas. I like to refer to my baths as "Welcome to the Car Wash" with musical background. I don't know about the 3 washclothes...you know, when I find the laundry nazi, we will talk...I'm into the 10 washclothes minimum. My pts smell great, look just a little better, etc. I also don't use the ShowerCapHairIsStillGreezey (yes, I said GREEZEY), shampoo and water is the only way to go. Let me ask you all THIS? Do you have a Staff Stash of yummy soaps to bath pts in, or use the hospital supplied stuff. One hospital said that we were to only use the hospital-supplied stuff, one hospital I worked didn't SUPPLY soap (use the stuff on the wall---FOR MY 1 DAY POST-OP CABG---soap on was was NOT antibacterial and it had LOTION FOR MOISTURIZING) What the ????

  9. #9

    Re: To Bathe or not to bathe

    Reminds me of unit meeting we had once. Our manager reported that we had met the budget, volumne was good, overhead down, all around we were doing good. But he said he did get flack regarding linen use. Upper management said we were using to much linen. "Well I'm here to say KEEP ON USING THE LINEN! People &*%$ the bed here!"

  10. #10
    Ricu
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    Re: To Bathe or not to bathe

    Perhaps a bit late on arrival but I had to weigh in here. I happen to be one of those slacker MALE nurses who work in the unit AND on dayshift. Wow, I must be truly lazy. Anyway, I bathe my patients and if there is no reason to not, use soap, water and shampoo, they get it. I even take them to the shower if they can go. Someone said that the patient still smells bad after the ready-bath junk and I agree. Sick, shocky people with metabolic disorders are prone to stink anyway so if the can tolerate it, lather away and don't spare the linen. Let me share a story. I had a young (40yr) old male patient who believe it or not had such a severe COPD exacerbation that he wound up intubated. Too many Camels while driving his truck, I guess.. Anyway, you can imagine what he smelled like when all was said and done, armpits and all- he got the works. Did I mention that he had a sweaty blond ponytail down to his belt? I nicknamed him Fabio. Well, that got a wash too. The job took me about an hour with most of the time spent combing hair but it needed to get done. His wife said she expected him to look bad. Imagine- gorked on Propofol drip and an endo tube sticking out of his mouth and he looked good? I know, she was in shock herself. So, moral of the story, not all male nurses sidestep the bathing issue and some of us prefer soap and water even if it takes longer.

    R

    PS: I do a complete assessment whether I bathe my patient or not but agree with the statement that nurses do a thorough assessment especially for skin breaks while bathing their patients.

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