Bed-ridden patients need to be bathed on a regular basis because their skin continues to produce oils and sweat, even though they are inactive. Keep your patient clean and comfortable by washing one part at a time and covering the rest of his body with a warm blanket or towel. Here are a few tips to help you give a good sponge-bath.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
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Things you need
- Basin of warm water
- Clean washcloths
- Extra bedding
- Warm blankets
- Warm towels
- Microfiber or terry cloth towel for hair
Remove the patient's clothing, one limb at a time, and cover any exposed skin with a blanket or towel.
Starting with the fingers and working your way to the armpit, wash and rinse one arm, dry it with a warm towel, and cover it with a blanket. Repeat this process with the other arm.
Remove bedclothes down to the patient's waist. Wash and dry the chest and abdomen. Cover the patient with a warm towel or blanket as soon as his chest is clean.
Wash each leg separately, starting with the toes and working up to the hip. Cover the leg with a warm blanket or towel as soon as it is dry.
Turn the patient on her side and wash her back with a warm, soapy washcloth. Be careful not to roll her too far forward. Rinse her back with a clean cloth, dry, and cover her with a blanket.
Wash the patient's face in clean, warm water, using a bowl by the bed. Rinse and dry.
Place the bowl under the patient's head and use a cup of warm water to rinse his hair as you wash. Dry hair as completely as possible with a microfiber or terry cloth towel. Place a warm, dry towel underneath his head to keep the pillow dry.
Tips and warnings
- Place towels or a blanket underneath your patient before bathing to keep the bedding dry, or strip the sheets after bathing and replace them with clean bedding.
- Never leave a patient exposed to a chill. Be sure to keep any parts that are not being bathed covered with a warm towel or blanket.
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