5.9 Skills Checklist: Partial Bath

  1. Gather Supplies: Wash basin, warm water, soap, lotion, two washcloths, one towel, barrier, gloves, clean clothes or gown, and linen bag or hamper. See Figure 5.25[1] at the end of this checklist for an image of a wash basin.
  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:
    • Put on gloves.
    • 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.
    • Raise the bed height to a working height.
    • Keep the resident covered as much as possible using a bath blanket or bed linens.
    • Wash the resident’s face using water only.
    • Pat dry the face.
    • Remove the gown from one arm, keeping the rest of the body covered.
    • Place a towel under one arm, only exposing the arm.
    • Wet a washcloth, put soap on the washcloth, and wash the arm with soap.
    • Wash the hand with soap.
    • Wash the underarm with soap. Place the washcloth containing soap on the edge of the basin or barrier.
    • Rinse the arm with the second washcloth.
    • Rinse the hand.
    • Rinse the underarm.
    • Pat dry the arm.
    • Pat dry the hand.
    • Pat dry the underarm.
    • Move to the other side of the bed and repeat actions on the other side of the body.
    • Dispose of the gown into a linen bag or laundry hamper.
    • Ask the resident if they would like lotion. When applying lotion, wear gloves.
    • Assist the resident to put on a clean gown or clothes.
    • 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.
Photo showing a wash basin
Figure 5.25 Wash Basin

View a YouTube video[2] of an instructor demonstrating a partial bath:


  1. "Wash Basin" by Landon Cerny is licensed under CC BY 4.0
  2. Chippewa Valley Technical College. (2022, December 3). Partial Bath. [Video]. YouTube. Video licensed under CC BY 4.0https://youtu.be/iR1r-_SKVpc


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Nursing Assistant Copyright © by Chippewa Valley Technical College is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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