Reflection Essay. The nursing skill I will be discussing is bed bathing a male patient.

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The aim of this assignment is to discuss and indentify a nursing skill whilst on placement. The nursing skill I will be discussing is bed bathing a male patient. A bed bath in this incident was necessary as the patient was unable to mobilise himself to the bathroom due to suffering from a recent stroke which had caused greatly reduced mobility.

To adhere to the Nursing and Midwifery code of professional conduct (NMC 2008), I will maintain my patient’s autonomy, to respect his right to confidentiality. Therefore no names will be used.  Clear verbal consent was gained from my patient as the NMC states (NMC 2008a), to enable myself to reflect on this experience.

I am going to use Driscoll’s (2000) model of reflection, What? So what? What next? To reflect upon this experience and too gain knowledge and understanding of how the skill has to be adapted between males and females. It is also to enhance my personal and professional learning which will assist in developing my nursing knowledge.


As a female student, going out for the first time onto a ward with mixed sex patients was very nerve racking for me. I was comfortable with bed bathing females, but the thought of having to bed bath male patients really worried me. Firstly because it was an exposure I had never had previously, and secondly I simply felt somewhat uncomfortable washing male gentiles.

But I knew I had to overcome this situation sooner rather than later, because on a busy ward there was not going to be any shying away accepted.

I spoke to my associate mentor, who is also male, about my worries. He reassured me and said that he would assist me with a male bed bath and let me take the lead, and he would then guide me where he felt I needed to do things differently.

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We approached a male patient who needed assistance with washing and explained to the patient the situation; he was more than happy for me to bed bath him with my associate’s guidance.

So What?

I gathered all essential equipment needed on a trolley, and brought along a skip to collect all the dirty linen in. I placed these items by the patient’s bed and then went to prepare myself for the bed bath. I put on an apron and washed my hands as hand washing is very important for reducing the transfer of bacterial and viral infections from patient to ...

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