How to Use a Bedpan

Written by kelly shetsky
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How to Use a Bedpan

A bedpan is used for urine and fecal matter. It assists people who are sick, elderly or immobile at home or in a health care facility by allowing them to go to the bathroom. The receptacle is usually made of plastic, metal or glass. Follow these steps to figure out how to use a bedpan.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Absorbent underpad
  • Bedpan
  • Wipes

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  1. 1

    Tell the patient that you're going to put a bedpan under him. Cue him step by step so that, together, you can use the bedpan.

  2. 2

    Ask the patient to bend both his knees and lift his hips off the bed, if he's lying down. If he's able to lift himself up, slip a disposable underpad and bedpan into place. The underpad will protect the mattress from moisture.

  3. 3

    Help him bend his knees if he's unable to do it himself. Roll him onto his strong side, encouraging him to allow his knees to fall forward the direction you're turning him. This will help him roll over.

  4. 4

    Wedge the absorbent underpad between him and the bed. Help him roll back over to get the pad to lie flat. Roll him onto his strong side once again and put the bedpan under his rear end. This way, as soon as he's able to roll onto his back again, the receptacle will be in the appropriate spot.

  5. 5

    Wait until he's finished urinating or having a bowel movement. Then gently roll him back onto his side and remove the bedpan.

  6. 6

    Clean the patient's bottom. Many people find a wet wipe with a gently cleansing solution works the best. Empty and rinse the bedpan.

Tips and warnings

  • Get someone to help you insert and remove a bedpan if you're unable to move the patient without hurting yourself.
  • Don't push the patient too hard to roll over. Give him time to catch his breath between movements.

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