Here are some practical tips on bathing and washing a patient:
- Depending on the patient’s illness and strength, he/she may be able to bath himself or may need assistance.
- Even if the patient is bathing him/herself, the door should not be locked and the patient should have a bell within reach.
- If you are assisting the patient to bath, it is important to be very observant since this is the easiest time to pick up changes in the patient’s skin.
- If the patient is too ill, you can wash him/her in the bed. Make sure the temperature of the room is warm enough and the windows are closed.
- Respect the patient’s dignity by keeping as much of the body covered as possible.
- Aids to bathing such as a handrail, shower seat or bath seat may prove helpful in making bathing easier. There are many different types of aids and it is best to consult an expert to help you choose the most appropriate one.
(Thania Gopal, Health24, April 2009)
Caring for the sick, Nursing the ill, the disabled, children and the elderly, The Authorised Manual of St. John Ambulance, St. Andrew’s Ambulance Association, The British Red Cross Society, 2nd ed. (1988) Dorling Kindersley Ltd.