Bathing is an enjoyable and refreshing activity for everyone especially for elderly individuals who are confined to bed. It can also improve blood flow, ease discomfort, make them relax and it is an opportunity for you to observe your patient’s needs.
An individual who remains in one position for a long period of time suffers a skin breakdown and it can cause a serious problem if not addressed immediately. Bed bathing is a good time to inspect those pressure areas. The back usually reddened for a person who is always in bed, if that occurs, you should position your patient in a way that will relieve the pressure on the area until the redness goes away. Make sure to change the position every half an hour to minimize the chance of additional pressure areas.
A very important role of the nurse assistant in giving a bed bath is to ensure the patient’s privacy. Close the door and curtain at all times and provide light cover while giving a bed bath.
A nurse assistant should encourage the elderly to assist in bed bath whenever possible and listen to them carefully. You should follow and consider their wants and needs like body powder and skin lotions.
Always put in mind to discuss what you will do with the patient or person in preparation for a bed bath. Encourage them also to select a change of clothing. Remember to wash your hands before beginning and properly dispose all the things you used in bed bath to avoid infection and contamination.
For a complete guide on giving the elderly patient a bed bath, watch this video.
We will be discussing more of the basic skills for a certified nurse assistant. Please read also my previous posts for nursing assistant skills training and certification guide.