HYGIENE AND CARE OF THE PATIENT
a. Administering Hygiene. Hygiene includes care of the skin, along with the
hair, hands, feet, eyes, ears, nose, mouth, back, and perineum. This includes the bath,
components of the bath, bed making, and assisting the patient in the use of the bed
pan, urinal, and bedside commode.
b. Importance of Hygiene and Care. The bath stimulates circulation in the skin
and underlying tissues; it cleans and refreshes, promoting health and comfort; it
provides some exercise for the patient; and similar to the opportunities available in
making the occupied patient's bed, it provides excellent opportunities for observation of
the patient's physical and emotional condition and for patient-centered conversation to
promote good interpersonal relationships.
ADMINISTERING A SPECIAL (THERAPEUTIC) BATH
a. Sitz Bath. The sitz bath cleanses and aids in reducing inflammation of the
perineal and anal areas. It is for patients who have undergone rectal or vaginal surgery
or childbirth. The sitz bath also relieves discomfort from hemorrhoids or fissures. Two
kinds of sitz baths are shown in figures 1-1 and figure 1-2. Water temperature should
be maintained at 110F (about 43C). The sitz bath should last from 20 to 30 minutes.
Figure 1-1. Built-in sitz bath.