5.10 Skills Checklist: Full Bed Bath

  1. Gather Supplies: Basin, warm water, soap, shampoo and conditioner if used, lotion, six washcloths, two towels, barrier, gloves, clean clothes or gown, and linen bag or hamper
  2. Routine Pre-Procedure Steps:
    • Knock on the client’s door.
    • Perform hand hygiene.
    • Introduce yourself and identify the resident.
    • Maintain respectful, courteous, and professional communication at all times.
    • Provide for privacy.
    • Explain the procedure to the client.
  3. Procedure Steps:
    • Fill the basin with warm water and place it on a flat surface with a barrier underneath. Have the resident check the water temperature by placing their hand in the basin or putting a wet washcloth on the back of their hand.
    • Place a towel under one leg, keeping the rest of the body covered with the bath blanket.
    • Wash the leg with soap, only exposing the leg.
    • Wash the feet with soap.
    • Rinse the leg and feet.
    • Pat the leg and feet dry.
    • Repeat on the other leg.
    • Raise the side rail on one side of the bed.
    • Move to the opposite side of the bed and assist the resident to roll on their side using a lift sheet or other supportive device.
    • Wash the back while keeping the rest of the body covered.
    • Rinse the back.
    • Pat the back dry.
    • Dispose of the gown and used linens into the linen bag or laundry hamper.
    • Ask the resident if they would like lotion. If applying lotion, wear gloves.
    • Perform perineal care using clean linens according to Chapters 5.18 & 5.19 “Perineal Care Skills Checklists.”
    • Assist the resident to put on a clean gown or clothes and apply an incontinence product if needed.
    • While wearing gloves, empty the equipment.
    • Rinse the equipment.
    • Dry the basin.
    • Return the equipment to storage.
    • Dispose of soiled linen in the designated laundry hamper.
    • Remove the gloves, turning them inside out.
  4. Post-Procedure Steps:
    • Perform hand hygiene.
    • Check for resident comfort and if anything else is needed.
    • Be sure the bed is low and locked. Check the brakes.
    • Place the call light or signaling device within reach of the resident.
    • Open the door and privacy curtain.
    • Perform hand hygiene.
    • Document and report any skin issues or changes noted with the resident.

Note: Shampooing can be done before washing face, after washing back, or after perineal care per resident preference. See “Shampoo Skills Checklist” for specific steps.

View a YouTube video[1] of an instructor demonstrating a full bed bath:


  1. Chippewa Valley Technical College. (2022, December 3). Full Bed Bath . [Video]. YouTube. Video licensed under CC BY 4.0https://youtu.be/j5GYMOvjjtk


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