Nursing, Personal Care Attendant (PCA)

The Process of Bathing



1: Before you begin, inspect the bathing area and make sure it is clean, uncluttered, and dry. There should be nothing to trip on. If there are area rugs in the room, remove them. Water in the floor is a fall hazard.

2: Next, gather all the supplies you or your client may need during the bathing process. Soap, shampoo, razor, shaving cream, toothbrush, toothpaste, comb or brush, makeup, plenty of towels and washcloths, and the client's change of clothes is a good list to start with, but each client is different and the list will vary. Plan for any special needs such as covering a wound that must stay dry.

3: Have a basket, bag, or hamper near to dispose of the dirty clothes immediately. Never put them on the floor or near the clean clothes. Think about infection control guidelines.

4: Make sure the bathing area is the proper temperature. Wet skin chills easily, so even if you are warm, your client may not be. Close windows and doors.

5: Use a bath blanket to provide privacy and to help your client stay warm during the process. If you are using a shower chair to roll your client to the shower area, wrap the blanket completely around the client before they sit down.

6: Help the client with any areas that are out of their reach. Make sure to rinse completely. Soap is very drying, and if not properly rinsed can cause itching and discomfort.