5.2.4 Changing Briefs with Tabs

Clients who are not able to use the restroom reliably will often wear disposable briefs that are designed to absorb waste. These briefs have adhesive tabs for easy fastening and unfastening.

A man wearing a disposable brief with tabs.
This style of disposable brief has tabs, which assist in donning and doffing when a patient is in bed.

Here is the process for changing a brief with tabs in bed:

  1. Wash hands
  2. Collect the supplies:
    • clean brief
    • wash basin
    • soap
    • washcloths (2)
    • gloves
    • towel
    • incontinence pad
    • garbage can
  3. Ensure privacy by closing door or drawing curtain.
  4. Explain the procedure to the client.
  5. Don gloves.
  6. Open the tabs on the brief.
  7. Fold the front of the brief inward towards the client, and tuck it between the legs.
  8. Wash and dry the front perineal area.
  9. Tuck the side of the brief under the client on the side where you will roll them, ensuring that tabs do not adhere to skin.
  10. Turn the client onto their side (usually, turn the client away from you to have easy access to the area).
  11. If needed, fold brief to prevent contamination.
  12. Wash and dry the buttocks area. (This is a good time to assess your client’s skin condition for bed sores, bruises or skin breakdown.)
  13. Pull tucked brief out from under client.
  14. Throw the soiled brief away in accordance with your facility’s waste policies.
  15. Assess incontinence pad for any leaks or stains.
  16. Place the clean brief under the client, with the side under the patient tucked under the brief. Then, tuck this side under the client.
  17. Turn the client onto their back, on top of the brief.
  18. Pull the tucked-under portion of the brief out from under the patient.
  19. Pull the front of the brief between the legs onto the top of the patient’s body
  20. Secure the tabs on each side by fastening the adhesive snugly around the body.

Now, watch this video of the brief change procedure:

Click here for a video transcript in .docx format: Video Transcript

Practice these procedures with a stand in to ensure that you are comfortable and quick when you attempt a brief change with a client.

Changing an incontinence pad

If, while you are changing the brief, you note that the underlying incontinence pad needs to be changed, you will repeat the tucking and rolling technique that you used for the brief change to remove the soiled pad and replace with a clean one. Or, if you are aware that the incontinence pad is soiled before you remove the old brief, you can remove them both in the same step, as demonstrated in the video above.

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