Nursing Home Bathing Transformed: Dr. El in Long-Term Living magazine

Check out my article in Long-Term Living Magazine this month: Resident Bathing Transformed: From Endurable to Enjoyable.  Interestingly, the perspectives of the residents and staff members I interviewed about showers in the nursing home corresponded with research on providing good customer service.  Click on the link, or paste this into your browser — — to read about the inexpensive and easy to implement suggestions for improvement.

6 thoughts on “Nursing Home Bathing Transformed: Dr. El in Long-Term Living magazine”

    • Kevin, thanks for the opportunity to write about an interesting subject for your excellent publication. One of the things I like about it is that it gives me insight into how nursing homes are viewed by other disciplines and the challenges faced by other departments. It’s always a good read that helps me widen my perspective.

  1. Dr. El,

    This is a must read for C.N.A.s and Inservice Directors. I imagine most staff do not even recognize problems in this area, others might, but not know what to do about them. This is an insightful, informative article, providing simple solutions to everyday problems.

    • Thanks, Sue. I hope administrators read it too, since some of the changes would flow from their decisions, but most of the suggestions are simple adjustments for the aides who provide the showers, empowering the line staff and the residents.

  2. Excellent article as usual. From the view of the CNA, most of us would love to make the bathing experience better for our residents. We do need management/administration to help us with this however. Heavy assignments, short staffing, call outs and the like don’t allow us a lot of time to devote to a pleasing experience. When we consider the average aide with an average assignment is allowed 10-15 minutes per resident for ALL care-we can see this as being a rushed “task”. Even on a good day, we might have 5 showers to give; when Susy CNA gets a call to pick up her sick child and all the sudden my assignment just increased from 10 residents to 12 (or often more!). The promises for scheduled baths and other care might have just gone out the window. So having a dedicated staff for showers and baths would help immensely. Where I work we got our bath aide at the cost of a floor aide. It isn’t working well because of this. Not enough aides to divide the residents among is troublesome.

    If administration were truly on board with culture change, they might hire bath aides who would be able to spend the time wihtout sacrificing floor aides. As well as allot some funds (and it need not be a lot- Dollar Stores have really cool decorations!) to decorate the bathrooms. Adding a better heat source is most needed as well. Music, candles or some other form of scenting the room would be nice. Perhaps dimmer lights depending upon the residents’ needs.

    There is much room for improvement. But it starts at the top and once administration is on board, the nursing staff will follow.

    • Thanks, Patti, for taking the time to read the article and to share your thoughts on the shower situation. I’m with you on many of your points, but I do feel that if we wait for management to make needed changes, we could be waiting a long time. I take the saying “be the change we want to see in this world” very much to heart, and whatever the line staff can improve on their own without causing trouble, I say, go for it. With 15 minutes of care per resident (yikes!), that might just mean putting on an air of calm even though inside the aide is racing to complete the task.


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