CNA Skill: Gives Modified Bed Bath

Daily activities like bathing can be difficult for many patients. They may struggle with mobility or lack the ability to clean themselves properly. A partial bed bath from a skilled CNA is an important skill in these cases; it helps keep them sanitary and healthy between full baths which require significant amounts of work. These are vital skills that anyone working as a caregiver should have! Also, the following skills can be tested during the CNA skills test as part of the CNA exam.

Here is a video demonstration of giving a modified bed bath to a patient.

Gives Modified Bed Bath and Backrub

What you need before you started:

  • One barrier for the table
  • Two towels
  • Privacy blanket
  • One Bath basin
  • Soap
  • One Clean gown
  • Four washcloths
  • Lotion
  • Gloves

When providing care for someone who needs help using their arms or hands because of injury, illness, surgery, or disability; it’s important to modify your usual bathing techniques. The following steps can be followed in order to provide modified bed baths:

  1. Knock on the door before entering the patient’s room. Greet them by name, introduce yourself and explain what you are about to do with your hands-washing or anything else. Close any privacy curtains if necessary so that they can have some time alone while doing this medical procedure; remember to wash your hands first!
  2. Begin by filling a basin with warm water and letting the patient test it to make sure they find the temperature appropriate. Place a privacy blanket over them, then pull their sheet from beneath up to just below their waist.
  3. Assist your patient in sitting up, untying their gown followed by placing a towel beneath them to keep bedding clean. Help the patient back down and make sure that they are covered with the towel before doing so.
  4. Gently lift the patient’s arm closest to you, supporting their elbow. Then move the blanket and gown out of your way with one hand while applying gloves with another before switching arms!
  5. Begin by wetting and wringing out your first washcloth. Then, starting with the inner eye corners work outward to clean their eyelids carefully without getting any water in them or on lashes. Next, wipe down their nose from bottom to top before moving onto cheeks and rest of the face. Then, Gently pat the patient’s face dry with the towel.
  6. Fill the second washcloth with water and wring it out. Lather up soap, Clean their neck from one side of their head down to the other as well as behind each ear before moving on. Remove any excess dirt using your fingers or a wet cloth in circular motions until no more clumps appear and they are squeaky-clean! Next, put one hand under their chin while supporting them at the elbow with your opposite arm so that you can reach all parts of this area without taking off anything but what is necessary for cleansing.
  7. Use a clean cloth to rinse the areas you just cleaned with soap. Set aside your rinsing cloth, take a towel and gently dry all of the areas you just washed and rinsed.
  8. With a clean torso, help the patient put on a gown as you move to each side of their body. You do not need to tie the gown at this point because it will probably stay in place.
  9. Inform the patient that you will be cleaning the backside of the body. Use a new, damp washcloth and soap to clean their back from top to bottom in gentle circular motions until all of the dirt has been washed away.
  10. Take a towel and gently dry the areas you just rinsed.
  11. Inform the patient you will be providing a back rub and then start with applying lotion to your hands. Rubbing them together before taking that warm, soothing touch up the small of their backs in circular motion all the way up towards shoulders as well! This three times or until they feel relieved from muscle tension after which use towel to wipe off excess lotion.
  12. Tie the patient’s gown and remove any towels or sheets they may have been lying on. Help them get comfortable in their position, then fold all of your used linen into a stack to be placed back with the dirty linens.
  13. Clean your basin, collect the soap and lotion that you need to return. Remove the gloves from course of the procedure and discard them in a receptacle before proceeding. Strip off the privacy blanket for those watching on as they’re about to see something amazing! Give one more pull at their sheets so it’s smooth once again under their backside as if nothing happened here today.
  14. Place the privacy blanket in dirty linen. Dispose of the dirty gown you took earlier.
  15. As you finish giving a modified bed bath, Wash your hand again. Make them comfortable by asking if anyone needs anything, giving you a call light or privacy curtain for those who need it.

Modifying a bed bath is not always an easy task, but it doesn’t have to be. The steps listed above can serve as a guide for providing modified bed baths and they should help you prevent any unfortunate accidents involving falls or slips from the side of the tub with minimal fuss. If you need more information on what this entails, please feel free to visit our other post about CNA skills which includes all types of helpful tips and tricks that might come in handy during your CNA certification exam or when you are working at home care jobs!

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