Ergonomics: Bathtub and Shower Activities

Ergonomics: Guidelines for Nursing Homes

The following ergonomic solutions are applicable to caregivers in nursing homes responsible for bathing residents.

Bathtub, Shower, and Toileting Activities

adjustable bathtub

Description: Height adjustable bathtub and easy-entry bathtubs

When to Use: Bathing residents who sit directly in the bathtub, or to assist ambulatory residents climb more easily into a low tub, or easy-access tub. Bathing residents in portable-powered or ceiling mounted lift device using appropriate bathing sling.

Points to Remember: Reduces awkward postures for caregivers and those who clean the tub after use. The tub can be raised to eliminate bending and reaching for the caregiver. Use correct body mechanics, and adjust the tub to the caregiver's waist height when performing hygiene activities. Increases resident safety and comfort.

Bathtub, Shower, and Toileting Activities

adjustable shower gurnee

Description: Height adjustable shower gurney or lift bath cart with waterproof top

When to Use: For bathing non-weight bearing residents who are unable to sit up. Transfer resident to cart with lift or lateral transfer boards or other friction-reducing devices.

Points to Remember: The cart can be raised to eliminate bending and reaching to the caregiver. Foot and head supports are available for resident comfort. May not be suitable for bariatric residents. Look for carts that are power-driven to reduce force required to move and position device.

Bathtub, Shower, and Toileting Activities

bath lifts

Description: Built-in or fixed bath lifts

When to Use: Bathing residents who are partially weight bearing, have good sitting balance, can use upper extremities (have upper body strength), are cooperative, and can follow instructions. Useful in small bathrooms where space is limited.

Points to Remember: Ensure that seat raises so resident's feet clear tub, easily rotates, and lowers resident into water. May not be suitable for heavy residents. Always ensure lifting device is in good working order before use and rated for the resident weight. Choose device with lift mechanism that does not require excessive effort by caregiver when raising and lowering device.

Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA)
200 Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20210
www.osha.gov
www.dol.gov

Updated on: 09/07/12
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Ergonomics: Bathtub, Shower and Toileting Activities
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Ergonomics: Bathtub, Shower and Toileting Activities

Sensible ergonomic solutions for resident bathing and toileting.
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