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Basic Patient Care Procedures


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a. General. A patient who is not confined to bed and is not helpless will, in some cases, be recommended to have a tub bath. All necessary supplies and equipment is provided by the medical specialist. Any assistance in getting in and out of bed, getting in and out of the tub, and/or reaching areas of the body while bathing will be rendered by the specialist.


b. Important Points.

(1) Provide safety measures to prevent slipping, tripping, or falling.


(2) Maintain privacy.


(3) Encourage performance.

c. Procedure.

(1) Determine if activity is allowed. Consult with registered nurse (RN) in charge and check physician's orders.


(2) Make certain tub or shower appliance is clean. Check local standard operating procedure (SOP). Place nonskid mat on tub or shower floor and disposable mat outside of tub or shower.


(3) Gather all items necessary for bathing:

(a) Towel.


(b) Washcloth.


(c) Soap.


(d) Deodorant.


(e) Lotion.


(f) Clean gown.

(4) Assist patient to tub or shower. Be certain patient wears robe and slippers.


(5) Instruct patient on how to use call signal and place "in use" sign on tub or shower door if private bath is not being used.


(6) If tub is used, fill with warm water (109F (43C). Have patient test water; adjust temperature if needed. Instruct patient on use of faucets--which is hot and which is cold. If shower is used, turn water on and adjust temperature.



(7) Caution patient to use safety bars. Discourage the use of bath oil in water. Check on patient every 5 minutes. Do not allow the patient to remain in tub more than 20 minutes.


(8) Return to room when patient signals. Knock before entering.


(9) Assist patient out of tub and with drying. If patient complains of weakness, vertigo, or syncope, drain tub before patient gets out and place towel over patient's shoulder.


(10) Assist patient into clean gown, robe, and slippers. Accompany to room and position for comfort in either chair or bed.


(11) Make unoccupied bed if patient can tolerate sitting in chair. Perform back, hair, nail, and skin care.


(12) Return to shower or tub. Clean according to SOP. Place all soiled linens in laundry bag and return all articles to patient's bedside.


(13) Wash hands.

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