ADVANCED PRINCIPLES OF PATIENT HYGIENE
Providing for a patient's hygiene is probably the most basic of all nursing care
activities, but it is undoubtedly one of the most important. Not only is it a provision for
the patient's physical needs; it also contributes immeasurably to the patient's feeling of
PURPOSE OF THE PATIENT'S DAILY BATH
a. Removal of bacteria from the skin.
(1) Confinement in bed increases perspiration, and bacterial growth is
stimulated by moisture.
(2) Skin irritation from hospital bed linens may result in skin breakdown and
b. Relaxation effect on the patient.
c. Stimulation of blood circulation to the skin, respirations, and elimination.
d. Maintenance of joint mobility.
e. Improvement of the patient's self-image and emotional and mental well-being.
f. Providing the nurse with an opportunity for health teaching and assessment.
g. Providing the nurse with an opportunity to give the patient psychological
The process of building rapport may begin during the initial bath.
(2) The bath aids in the development of the therapeutic nurse-patient
relationship as the patient has the nurse's undivided attention.
PHYSICAL CONDITIONS WHICH ENCOURAGE SKIN BREAKDOWN IN A
PATIENT WHO IS CONFINED TO BED
a. Immobility. Continuous pressure over any body part impairs circulation to
that part and can cause breakdown and eventual ulcerations.