Bedridden patients are very vulnerable and weak. 90% of the time they are intubated and receiving IV lines of very strong sedatives and muscle relaxants, specially those who are hospitalized in the intensive care unites. Most of patients in the ICU can’t communicate. They latterly need ” total ” Nursing care like bathing, feeding and changing position( lifting them up or let them lay on the other side of bed .. etc). Not All patients in the Intensive care unites are in a coma, some of them are conscious and aware of whats happening around but they just can’t express themselves.
You have no Idea how horrible it is to be alive and not be able to move or talk. It feels pretty much as if your soul is trapped. Being Bedridden and in need for a total nursing care can be emotionally devastating. I have been there and I know exactly how it feels and how uncomfortable it is to have strangers bathing you. I was healthy, strong and independent. However, When I had brain surgery last Oct I had to be hospitalized in the ICU. Now I know how my patients feel because I have been in their shoes. Those patient’s had a job, they were strong and independent too. Its not easy to be totally dependent when you are adult. Its kind of humilating and embarressing as well.
Today I started My first day in the Intensive Care Unite and I have to say that It was a bit depressing to me because I was suffering from bad memories flashbacks every time I walked into my patient’s room. It was really tough day.
Students are supposed to follow their preceptors and whatever procedures the staff Nurse do we try to help or watch and learn. We do some procedures but it have to be under the preceptor’s direct supervision. My preceptor today wanted to bed-bath her patient and I went to help her. Bed-bathing is done in certain way, there are rules to protect human dignity. When it comes to bathing patients , we must not fully expose the patient. for example, when you start from the upper body you must cover the genitalia and lower body and once your done with the upper body, you cover it up and then you go on with the other areas.This is how its supposed to be.
I couldn’t believe it when My preceptor fully exposed the patient in front of 2 other nurses who were there to help. At the beginning she asked me to fully remove his gown but I only exposed the upper body knowing that we must not fully expose the patient right away. It’s not only respecting patient’s dignity but the patient will get really cold.
However, she didn’t seem like she cares anyways. The patient was consciouse and knew what the Nurse is doing when she started making very rude comments and jokes about him that I honostly can’t write it here because the jokes were extermly disgusting and sick.
I can tell that the 2 Nurses who were helping her didn’t like the fact that she was saying dirty jokes and chuckling while the patient was fully naked, it was very obvious from their facial expressions.
I was there, I didn’t say anything though. Who am I to report an ICU Nurse !?