Give the Patient a Partial Bedbath

Care Plan: Bathe a resident who is in bed and not able to help with his/her bathing. Wash the resident’s face, neck, back, one hand and arm, the chest and abdomen using soap and water. Dress the resident in a clean gown after bathing. The resident also needs a back rub. A mannequin will be used for testing.


Click on each question below to view the answer…

Are gloves needed for this skill?

Yes.  You will be touching personal skin on the patient (breast area) and should have gloves on to make the patient more comfortable.  Remember, if the patient (or you) have any rashes, cuts, sores or open skin, if you are going to touch skin normally covered by a bathing suit (genitals and breasts) or if you will be touching body fluids, you should wear gloves.

Why don’t we use side-rails for this skill?

For the Florida CNA exam, side-rails are not used. This is because CNAs can work in a variety of settings in which side-rails are not legally allowed, because their use is considered a restraint. Siderails may only be used with a doctor’s order. Therefore, it is important to learn how to safely perform this skill without side-rails by scooting the patient toward you then turning them on their side away from you in the center of the bed.

Is peri-care part of partial Bedbath?

For the Florida exam, the partial bedbath is from face to waist, front and back. Peri-care is a separate skill. For the exam, you will follow the instructions given to you on the care plan. The care plan for partial bedbath instructs you to wash the patient’s face, neck, chest, abdomen, back and one arm and give the patient a backrub with lotion. The clinical skills checklist can be found by searching for Prometric CNA Florida and you can see all the checkpoints graded on the exam.

How many washcloths do we need for this skill?

You only need 4 washcloths for this skill. 1st to wash face (water only, no soap), set aside. 2nd to wash torso and closest arm, set aside. 3rd to rinse torso and arm, put back in basin. You don’t have to wash or rinse 2nd arm any longer for the test (this is where the 5th washcloth would have been used). Dress patient. Turn patient on side. 3rd washcloth to wash back with soap, set aside. 4th washcloth to rinse back, set aside. Give backrub. Two towels are used, one to dry and one to protect the bed.

Will you fail if you get more washcloths or towels than you need for this skill?

No, you will not fail if you get more than you need, but since there is a limited number of linens available during testing days, you may be restricted by the evaluator from taking an excessive number during your skill to ensure that there are enough for all testing candidates. Anything that you do not use must be placed in the soiled linen container. Do not return unused linens to clean linen storage because they are no longer considered clean.

Why do we only have to wash one arm for the test?

The test is evaluating TECHNIQUE, which can be evaluated during washing the first arm. To save time, the test will only require you to demonstrate this on one arm. Always follow the care plan. In a clinical setting, there are a million reasons that the care plan may indicate that you are to wash only one arm: IV’s, burns, external fixation, wounds, incisions, rashes, etc. You must dress BOTH arms, however.