Washing a bed-bound patient

Essay by bhakti July 2006

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Select a basic nursing skill or activity or intervention that you have been performing in your placement.

Your written work must show your understanding of the theory underpinned and must highlight your positive values, fairness and sensitivity to the person's needs.

I will be discussing the process and method undertook when washing a bed-bound male patient.

Before starting this procedure, I read documentation on his medical history and his current emotional state to ensure safe practice.

I approached the patient and asked him if he would like to be washed. He responded "yes", giving us consent.

To minimize the time spent away from the patient, I gathered the equipment and placed it beside the patient's bed. I also placed a warm bowl of water onto his table and asked him if it was warm enough, giving him a sense of control to the situation.

I put on gloves and an apron to reduce the risk of cross-infection and drew the curtains around the patient's bed.

Allowing him privacy to undress and maintaining his dignity (NMC 2004).

I soaked the flannel and asked the patient if he would like to wash his own face, this giving him a choice to what he prefers.

I informed the patient I was going to wash his body to allow him to give further consent.

I folded his gown, just above the genital region. I placed the towel on his abdomen to maintain his body temperature. I washed, rinsed and dried above and below his arms and hands. I also assessed his skin for any sores and pains.

Throughout this process I talked to my patient and allowed for him to confide in me about his worries, giving him the 'opportunity to ask questions and express any doubts or anxieties' (Nursing Times1999). I used my...