5.3.3 Assisting Mobile Clients with Bathing or Showering

When clients are ambulatory or mobile, they are able to go to bathrooms or special rooms equipped for bathing or showering. For assisting the client with a bath or shower, these key procedures will keep the client comfortable and safe, while allowing you to assist in the process:

  1. Wash hands.
  2. Check the tub/shower area for cleanliness.
  3. Turn the water temperature up 5 minutes prior to the bath/shower, if needed.
  4. Fill half the tub with warm water (40-40.5 degrees Celsius), if applicable .
  5. Gather all needed supplies:
    • 4 towels
    • 2 washcloths
    • soap
    • shampoo
    • conditioner
    • lotion
    • nail brush and file
    • hair brush
    • hair dryer
  6. Make sure the floor is dry and complete an assessment for any other fall risks.
  7. Test all equipment to be used prior to the client arriving into the room.
  8. If the client is undressed in their room, cover them completely to transport them to the bath/shower room.
  9. Turn the water on to warm it ahead of the client being assisted into the shower.
  10. Lock the wheelchair or shower chair when placed in the bath/shower area.
  11. Assist the client to transfer to the seat for the shower/bath, if applicable.
  12. Follow all safety precautions as directed by the manufacturer and the care plan for each individual client. Do not leave the client alone in the shower/tub room—allow privacy but stay close to the client, with the client’s call bell in their reach.
  13. Allow the client to bathe or shower for approximately 10 minutes. After the client’s body is washed and the hair is washed, drain the tub or shower prior to assisting the client out of the bathing area.
  14. Assist the client to dry themselves and apply lotion to their skin.
  15. Dress the client to prevent chilling.
  16. Assist the client to their room to rest after the activity.

It is recommended that you practice all hygiene and grooming procedures with a stand-in prior to attempting them with a client.  This type of practice will allow you to identify challenges with the movements or process and perfect your techniques.

Practice Makes Perfect

Complete the following exercise to check if you can remember when tasks should occur in a given sequence.



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