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How do nurses give their patients perineal care?

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Perineal care is the washing of the genital and rectal areas of the body. Perineal care should be done at least one time a day during the bed bath, shower, or tub bath. It is done more often when a client is incontinent. Perineal care prevents infection, odors and irritation.

As with all procedures, introduce yourself to the client, explain what you are about to do, identify the patient and maintain privacy, caring, respect, comfort and safety throughout the task. Wash your hands, assemble your supplies and equipment, observe standard precautions, and don on gloves just before beginning the procedure.

Perineal care for female patients:
  • Fill the basin with water to a temperature the patient is okay with
  • Position the female patient on their back,
  • Put a protective cover over the bed linen,
  • Separate the labia and wash, rinse and dry the urethral area first with short downward strokes alternating from side to side and proceeding until the exposed area around the urethra is done,
  • Then rinse the cloth or use a new washcloth,
  • Wash the groin on the outside of the labia from the front to the back starting outside the labia and then going to the inside of the thighs,
  • Then rinse the cloth,
  • Turn the person on their side,
  • and wash, rinse and dry the rectal area.


Perineal care for male patients
  • fill the bath basin with clean water at 110 degrees,
  • position the male patient on their back,
  • put a protective cover over the bed linen,
  • wash the groin from the front to the back starting at the groin area and then going to the inside of the thighs,
  • then rinse the cloth or use a new washcloth,
  • pull back the foreskin if the patient is not circumcised,
  • wash and rinse the tip of the penis downward while using gentle, circular motions and then the scrotum,
  • rinse the cloth,
  • turn the person on their side,
  • and wash, rinse and dry the rectal area.
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