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Bed Bathing A Patient Essay

IntroductionIn this assignment I will be exploring the legal, professional and ethical issues involved in bed bathing a patient/client in a hospital setting. I will be reflecting on a personal experience, experience during a seven week placement on a diabetic ward. I have decided to use a reflective cycle which is an adaptation from Gibbs' (1988) model.This reflection has provided a systematic approach to my learning and to my nursing practice. Within this essay I intend to discuss approaches to assessing, planning, implementing and evaluating care.

Heron (1977) refers to the process of reflecting as a 'conscious use of the self'. Once one becomes consciously aware of their actions, it is easer to recognise the reason for doing them in the first instance. The first stage of this process is to acknowledge our actions by reflecting we reveal to our selves how we act, such actions are spontaneous and without forethought attention.

To maintain my clients autonomy I am unable to disclose any client information, accordingly I have given my client the name Mrs Jones this is to protect and respect my client's confidentiality as stated by the NMC Code of Professional Conduct.

Gibbs' model of reflection (1988)DescriptionDuring any client's admission stage an assessment on the client's skin care regime is made, this takes into account the clients personal preferences, the level of function the client may have to provide self-care and the amount of assistance required to promote optimal hygiene procedures in the form of bed baths, in respect of encouraging independence. The reason why we bed bath clients is to promote personal hygiene and to give them a sense of well-being it also maintain intact skin i.e. prevention of pressure sours. Bed bathing allows the caregivers to monitor changes in the client's skin condition. (Staff Nurse...

Bed Bathing Essay


One of the clinical skills which I become competent in during my clinical placement is bed washing a patient. I had little or no knowledge of how to wash a patient in a hospital before and this training has provided me an ample opportunity to learn this skill. The reflective model I have chosen to describe my essay is Gibbs model (Gibbs 1998).Gibbs model of reflection is one of the most popular models of reflection and divided into six step process of reflective cycles. These are incorporates in the following: Description of the event, feelings, evaluation, analysis, conclusion, and action plan. I would use this model to describe my essay while relating the theory to the practice.

Patient’s personal hygiene is a vital part of the nurse’s role. Young (1991) described cleanliness as a basic human right, not a luxury the need for the patient to physically cleansing and which would include skin, hair and nails.

Bed bath can benefit patients immensely as it ensured that there individual needs are met, improved patients psychologically as they maintain their self-esteem and a positive body image. Nurses and patient relationship can be improved through bed bathing as patients can use their closeness with the nurse to discuss issues that trouble them. Bed bath are only suitable for patients who are bed bound, critically ill patients who need some assistance and elderly patients.

First stage of Gibbs (1998) model of events requires a description of events.

After the handover, I was asked by my mentor to attend to a patient who is bed ridden to have her personal care done with the assistance of one of the health care assistant staff. The patient was recently admitted to the ward and she looks scruffy and smelly. As we walked in to her room, we were engulfed with foul smell and we couldn’t establish where the odour was coming from, whether it is from her wounds or generally as a result of neglect in her personal care. The first thing we do was to wake her and seek her consent to have her personal care done to which she agreed.
I prepared all the equipment that we might need, toiletries like deodorants, perfume, clean bed linen, bowl of hand –hot water, disposable wipes, blanket to cover patient etc. The process went without any problems but I was left to question some of the procedures which run contrary to what a good practice should be. The patient was virtually left in isolation throughout the process with little or no communication taken place. I also noticed that, same wipes used to clean the body are also used to clean the sensitive areas. When I raised these issues regarding the infection control this might cause to the patient, it went in deaf ears. The only reason she gave me was that, this is the way they have doing it for a long time, has never changed.

Thought and feelings

When my mentor told me to attend to the personal care of this patient with other member of nursing...

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