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There are some patients who will need a modified bath. There is a lot for you to keep in mind if you are bathing a patient. As always, you will want to follow all hand washing procedures before working with the patient. It is always important to provide your patient with a friendly greeting and some details about what you are about to do to help them bathe. Close your patient’s door and pull the privacy curtain to help preserve their dignity.
You should fill a water basin with water that is about 105 to 115 degrees. Test the water to make sure it is not too hot (or even too cold) for the patient to bathe comfortably. Remove any medical equipment that you can safely remove from the patient before starting their bath. Allow your patient to be covered as much as possible to protect their privacy. Some patients can use a basin to bathe themselves to some degree. Allow your patient to do as much as they can for themselves to promote independence.
When you are bathing a patient, you should wash his or her face first. Then you will want to work your way down to their arms. Next you should wash their chest and then their abdomen. You can then wash their legs and back. You should wait until last to wash their perineal region. For each part of the body that you are bathing, you should use a different washcloth to help prevent the spread of germs.
You can also change a patient’s linens if necessary during their bath. This is an ideal time to provide them with fresh linen. Some patients will require lotion for their skin. Apply the lotion as directed when necessary. Of course, you should help the patient return to their most comfortable position after their bath has been completed.
Wash your hands after you finish working with your patient and before moving on to work with the next patient.