Patient Hygiene

Written by on January 29, 2013 in Uncategorized with 0 Comments

Good personal hygiene practices are essential for good health. Typically we perform a number of activities related to hygiene during the course of a day. When it comes to your patient it can become difficult for them to carry out these processes themselves. It is part of your responsibility as a Certified Patient Care Technician to assistance your patients with tasks related to personal hygiene. You need to be to assess how much your patient is able to do for themselves. Before you assist them, encourage those who can to do daily personal hygiene for themselves. Your patients function on different levels. Some patients might need a gentle reminder to perform their daily hygiene duties, but a few patients will entirely depend on you.

Patient personal hygiene tasks include bathing, hair shampooing, teeth brushing, hair combing, dressing and even shaving a man’s beard each morning.
Teeth brushing and flossing is even more essential when patients are on certain medicines that actually leave a bad taste in their mouth. Brushing twice a day can help your patient with bad tastes from medications, bad breath and help them enjoy their food better. If you assess that your patient is able to use the sink and do the process independently, then you might just need to remind them daily. If your patient is not able to get out of bed, you need to assist him or her in the whole process. Prepare to help your patient with a basin of water, a tooth brush, tooth paste, glass of water and a towel. Wash your hands first and be sure to explain the process to your patient and make sure that he or she is comfortable with the process before you begin. Just like you do for yourself, put a dab of toothpaste on the brush and gently scrub each tooth followed by flossing. Allow the resident to spit into the basin and rinse with water periodically. If your patient uses mouthwash then follow the directions on the mouthwash and make sure the patients spits it out and doesn’t swallow it.

Some of your patients will require you to hand feed them, as a result of poor co-ordination or weak muscles that will cause them to spill their food. If your patient is unable to sit up in bed and eat their meal, then don’t forget to place a towel on the mattress or on his/her chest to catch the spills. If food is spilled on the patients clothing or bed linens then change the soiled clothing and bedding as soon as possible.
Your Certified Patient Care Technician’s training teaches you to avoid injuries or strains to your or your patient while assisting them with bathing or showering. A shower chair must always be used even for your healthiest patient in order to prevent falls. Once again communicate with your patient about the procedure before you begin and then wash your hands. When washing the patient’s face have him or her hold head back so that the soap and water doesn’t flow onto their face or get into his or her eyes. Soap up a wash cloth and gently rub the skin followed with immediate rinsing, to avoid the soap from drying skin. If the patient is mobile enough to get into the tub or shower then it is proper to ask the patient to wash his or her own genitalia

Remember to ask your supervisor before shampooing your patient’s hair because this task needs to have permission of a doctor. For your patients who can have shampoos but the process cannot be accomplished in the wash room, you need to carry out the whole procedure on their bed. Communicate with your patient about the procedure before you begin and then wash your hands. Nowadays medical facilities are equipped with special plastic devices that gently fit around the back of your patient’s neck to catch the water. In the event that no device is available then you can make a trough by folding a blanket and covering it with a plastic bag. Wet your patient’s hair and then add shampoo rubbing gently. Rinse your patients hair making sure that all the shampoo is removed. Avoid spilling water on your patient ‘s clothing or bedding as mush as possible. Gently towel dry your patients hair to avoid drying out their scalp. Be sure to comb out their damp hair and style as close to their normal hairstyle as possible. Always change the patient’s clothing and bedding if wetness occurs in the process.

Incontinence is normal event in some of your patients. Clothing and bedding should be immediately changed if soiled. Elderly patients usually have fragile, thin skin and urine can break down the skin, so the patient should be cleaned and dried after each episode of incontinence. If a wound dressing gets wet inform your supervisor so that the wound can be cleaned and dried. In some case your responsibly will include wound dressing.


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