Perineal Care Procedure
Equipment needed: gloves, washbasin, soap, washcloths, bath towel, waterproof pad, and soiled laundry bag.
- Perform hand hygiene and put on gloves.
- Explain the procedure to the patient and ask for their assistance in following directions. Provide privacy.
- Raise the bed to a comfortable working height.
- Fill a basin with warm water. Ensure the water is a comfortable temperature.
- Assist the resident in spreading her legs.
- Gently clean around the perineal area, including the inner thighs and outside the labia.
- With one hand, separate the labia.
- With the other hand, wipe down the center of the inner labia with a soapy washcloth. Only wipe in a front to back motion.
- Using a clean area of the washcloth for each stroke, wipe from front to back on both sides of the vulva.
- Rinse the entire area with a clean washcloth. Pat dry with a bath towel.
- Assist the patient onto her side to expose the buttocks.
- Wash the buttocks and the anal area using the same front to back technique. Rinse and pat dry.
- If needed, change the linens and/or place a clean waterproof pad underneath the patient.
- Assist the resident into a comfortable position and lower the bed.
- Place all used washcloths, towels, and linens into a soiled laundry bag.
- Dispose of the water and clean the washbasin.
- Remove gloves and perform hand hygiene.
- Document the procedure in the patient’s chart and report any changes in the patient’s condition to the nurse.
Perineal care should be performed during a bath, after using the bedpan, and/or after incontinence. Proper technique is important for maintaining hygiene, preventing infection, and avoiding skin breakdown. Because of the close proximity between a woman’s urethra, vagina, and anus, it is essential to only wipe in a front to back motion. Wiping in the opposite direction is associated with a greater risk for developing a urinary tract infection .
It is important to be respectful and professional when providing this care. Many patients find this procedure awkward and uncomfortable. If a patient is able to perform this care independently, then allow them to do so and provide them with privacy.
By: Hollie Finders RN