Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Bath Day

As I alluded to in an earlier post, today was Bath Day, or actually the instructors titled it, "Bed, Bath, and Beyond." Ha! The morning started off a very chilly 27* this morning, and the heaters in the Smart Hospital were apparently not working. I had a very chilly hike across campus since we're not allowed to wear any unapproved coats or jackets over our uniform--or we'll be written a ticket by the Fashion Police for being out of uniform. Yes, really.

Of course since I'm the solitary guy in my clinical group, and we can't have any fraternizing (**GASP**) I get to attend lab today, and tomorrow. Yay!

My experience today was startlingly trenchant. Since I was not with my clinical group, I was quite literally being cared for by a total stranger. And I found the experience completely humiliating. I was given a bed bath, complete dependent oral care, and fed nectar thick liquids observing aspiration precautions. Don't get me wrong, my partner was very professional, and was actually quite good as he's been a tech for 6 years. But the overall experience was quite demeaning. I'm just not very good at being helpless I think. My personal space is pretty big too, and I really hate being touched without my permission. So honestly I found the experience fairly violating.

I imagine I'm not the only one to feel that way. It's given me an interesting perspective--even the best care can still be offensive or not enough. And it has nothing to do with the caregiver.

Anyway, I'll be processing this day for a while.


  1. My bed bath day was equally interesting. I had a female partner and I got to bypass the nectar thick liquids but she did have to demo (with my swimsuit inplace) how to do peri care. I was less than amused with her explaining how to hold apart my labia.

    Makes you really think before you do things to the patients though.

  2. I can't believe you guys use each other for bed baths! I've never done that, even in the Air Force! It's always been done on the dummies. What do they expect you to get out of it anyway when all you can think about is how demeaning it is!?

  3. processing? you mean, trying to block it!

    We have a lot of guys in our program, but even so,when we did the bath on each other we work T's and shorts, and yes...we faked doing the "nasty" parts, so it was a breeze.

    I couldn't wait to get my first real crotch! I remember it taking MONTHS whining about not getting a penis, nothin' but 'ginas. Finally got one, felt sooo dang powerful after that, hee hee.

  4. Ok, so many things in this post irks me. For starters, you aren't allowed to even wear a coat in the dead of winter over your uniform? Did I read that right? WTF? Even soldiers in the military are allowed to wear something over their uniform to keep them warm. What kind of school are you in and is it in Nazi Germany? Um...that is total BS and if it were me I would be complaining to the damn dean. I'm not about making a fuss, but that is a load of crap!

    Secondly, you actually had someone literally bathing you and doing oral care? For goodness sakes! You were right to feel violated. I don't think people actually have to do these things in lab to learn it. There are dummies for that, and not I'm not talking about the instructors...HA! Granted we did physical assessments on one another and scenario type skills, but nothing humiliating and demeaning. So are you going to be putting catheters in each other too? From the sound of things so far seems like the answer may be yes. Ridiculous!

    Sorry if I seem preturbed by this....I AM! Nursing schools take advantage of their "power" way too much. If I hear you had to have someone insert a catheter in you, so help me I'll be driving to Texas to do a little investigating! Grrrrrrr. :)

  5. Christy- As far as the uniforms go, we're allowed a white lab coat with appropriate patches sewn on. But they offer little to no protection from the cold, and if we have them we have to wear them, can't carry them on our arm... As for the other stuff, I'm right there with you. ;)

    We did catheters and NG tubes today...on the dummies.

  6. No fraternizing? WTF?
    What do they expect you to do when you are an RN and have to bathe a female patient? Take a smoke and let the female nurses do it?

    (the following uses "you" in the royal sense, not you personally drofen)
    If they don't feel you can touch the other students in a mature and professional manner, then why did then even let you in the door to the school?!
    Oh, that's right, you had money.


    I'm at a school associated with a true blue Baptist college dead smack in the heart of the bible belt and even we work on each other.