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Why do we wash patients in the morning?

  • Comments (8)

I was at Nottingham University Hospital Research conference last week and listened to an interesting paper about washing sedated patients on intensive care units at night (between 9pm and 11pm). The aim is to reduce the interruptions that occur when someone is being washed during the day. The team are in the process of evaluating the change.

 

Let’s discuss…

  • Are we still tied to routine and rituals around washing patients in the morning?
  • If so, why?
  • Is it possible to be more flexible?
  • Comments (8)

Readers' comments (8)

  • Anonymous

    Sometimes it's about mirroring an individual's daily route in several years ago we looked our working patterns and offered patients option of having a wash when they wanted. 2 per cent chose late morning of just after lunch. Our lives are often structured around refreshing up after a sleep aiding us to wake up. This was the reason that patients cited. This ritual sets the structure for the day and its not necessarily a bad thing.

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  • Washing patients allows,assessment of the patient: mobility,dexterity, skin condition, communication. However is treated as a chore. I worked on a ward that night staff were washing patients at 4am to 'help' the day staff in the morning... It was rushed and task focused rather than patient focused.i don't feel it should be a rule that all washed should be done before breakfast but i do feel it should be done any time between say 8am and 8pm to allow patients rest time

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  • Anonymous

    please don't drop that as well. I can't be bothered to go into all the arguments which should be very obvious but apart from the reasons mentioned above it affects patients basic needs, rights and dignity to feel clean and to help them to do what they are unable to do for themselves.

    or should we believe the gold medalist student nurse of the year (third year) and staunch member of the Christian Union and apple of everybody's eye who I had the privilege of working under as a first year on nights. Trying to practice the art and methodology of bed bathing we learned in the school I was informed by her that patients do not get dirty in bed and you only need to wash their face and hands and eventually do an intimate toilet as well. the importance is not to spend too much time (presumably to impress Sister when she comes on duty that the ward is is spic and span and all the work for the shift has been completed) and nobody sees what goes on behind the curtains! (her very words). A lot of that went on among the staff nurses I noted and especially those who held some sort of award and were perceived by their superiors as the role models and the ones as a student one was supposed to look up to!

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  • We believe it is as important as ever to wash patients in the morning, it will give them the feel of cleanliness for the rest of the day, giving them a well deserved lift. Also it may help to prevent pressure ulcers as these will be noticed as soon as possible and the rest of the day can be spent trying to prevent them spreading or worsening.

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  • Anonymous

    Where possible patients should be allowed to choose when they have a wash. This choice should also include them being able to decline a wash if they don't want to have one (Patient's choice to accept or refuse treatment). I'm all for encouraging patients to wash on a daily basis but it is not our right to tell a patient that they need to have a daily wash. Yes, I agree that helping patients to wash gives nursing staff a chance to do a complete patient assessment and provides a good opportunity to form supportive therapeutic relationships but we have to remember to give patients a choice

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  • Anonymous

    Anonymous | 27-Jun-2014 12:44 pm

    choice where choice is reasonable. but we all have to obey some rules and regulations in this life and show respect for others in our society whether we like it or not. hospital hygiene and clean patients in one of those!

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  • Anonymous

    too posh to wash!

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  • I don't think the discussion is around to wash or not, it's about what time. I personally have a shower before going to bed, this being a habit developed in childhood (you can't put dirty kids to bed). If I have to be dependent in hospital I don't know whether I would like being washed in the morning. My experience of delivering hygiene on acute wards is that it is always a mad rush to get everyone washed before 10am! That can't be good for patients?

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