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I'll chime in with an answer to this one:-

I need lessons on how to help bathe a big guy so's he gets clean and we don't create a swimming pool in the hospital room.

Towels. Lots of towels and face-washers/flannels/wash-cloths (are they called "face cloths" in the States? I don't remember). Wring the wash-cloths out well. Use a separate cloth to "rinse" off the soap.

If you want the technical bit, this is how I'd teach students to do a bed bath: You need a big bowel of hot water and some soap. Fold away or remove as much bedding as possible, cover the remainder and the patient with towels. Only uncover the part of the patient that is to be washed then cover it up afterwards (a, to keep them warm and b, to maintain their dignity). Wet a wash-cloth and ensure it is well rung out before soaping it up and then wiping it over the area to be washed. Use a separate cloth to rinse off/remove the soap. Start at the head and work down the body. Leave the genital area until last (since this is the area associated with the most germs, washing it last helps to avoid spreading them). Let the patient do as much as they can for themselves but always offer to wash their back.

It's not perfect, but it feels great when you're stuck in bed.

If CameraNerd is allowed up and about, the "plastic chair in the shower cubicle" is one of the greatest inventions ever. Set the shower temperature first, though.

- Pam (keeping fingers crossed about an early discharge)
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