How To Use A Bedpan

How often do you use a bedpan? If you don’t know, then you probably haven’t had to use one before. Most people assume they only need them once or twice in their life and usually at an older age. However, this is not the case.

How To Use A Bedpan

Bedpans are medical devices that collect urine from patients who cannot control their bladder or otherwise cannot reach the toilet. They are usually used in hospitals, nursing homes, and other healthcare facilities.

You might be surprised to hear that using a bedpan isn’t always necessary. In some cases, you can simply change your position to urinate.

However, if you are unable to move, the hospital or care facility may suggest you use a bedpan. But how do you use a bedpan? The information in this article will help you learn how to use a bedpan properly.

What Is A Bedpan?

A bedpan is a device that collects urine from patients who have trouble controlling their bladders. It is also sometimes known as a urinary catheter, however, standard catheters are mostly used for patients that are too sick to use a bedpan.

You can find bedpan devices at most pharmacies and drug stores, but they are always stored in hospitals and other healthcare facilities for patients who need them. 

Bedpans can be made of plastic, metal, or lined plastic. Some can be used with linings to help with cleaning and prevent splashing.

Caregivers should be relaxed when helping with a bedpan. Being relaxed makes the patient feel more comfortable. If caregivers are calm and don’t appear embarrassed, patients may feel more comfortable.

This is especially important if you are helping someone of the opposite sex.

How To Use A Bedpan With Someone’s Help

The first step is to make sure the patient is clean and dressed appropriately for the task at hand. You shouldn’t wear anything too tight around the waist because it could cause discomfort when you sit down.

As a carer, you need to make sure you have washed your hands and put on gloves. Wash using hot water and soap and when you have finished, dry your hands thoroughly and pop on a pair of disposable gloves.

Remember, if you are in a public health care facility or a hospital, you need to provide the patient with as much privacy as you can when helping them use a bedpan.

Close the door and draw the curtains on the window, and if the patient has a roommate, draw the curtain separating the beds. Keep the patient’s legs covered until the bedpan is in position.

For protection, cover the sheets under the patient with a waterproof protector or a bath towel. You should also warm the bedpan by allowing very warm water to sit for a few minutes inside.

This makes it more comfortable for the patient to use but ensures the water is not too hot.

To help someone use a bedpan, sprinkle a small amount of body powder on the rim of the pan to aid with sliding.

You should also fill the bedpan with enough water to fill the bottom or place a couple of pieces of toilet paper on the bottom. You can also use oil if in a home setting, as this makes the end cleaning process easier.

You can then position the bedpan and help the person sit up or raise and lift their hips as you slide the bedpan under the person.

You could also provide assistance to the person by turning them to their side. Press the bedpan gently against their buttocks and help them turn back onto the bedpan.

Verify the positioning after they are comfortable by asking them to spread their legs slightly so you can ensure proper placement.

It needs to be positioned securely behind the whole area of the buttocks. Provide the patient with a toilet roll and let them know you are there for them when they are finished.

You should keep a signal bell near the patient should they need you sooner.

After the person has used the bedpan, you need to ensure you hold the bedpan in place before rolling the person off of it and away from you.

You should set the pan to one side and help the person with wiping should they need help. Empty the bedpan in the toilet, and now it’s time to wash.

Rinse and wash out your bedpan with a disinfectant that has been diluted down with water. You could also use a sprayer that attaches to the toilet water supply. Dry the bedpan yourself or leave it out to air dry.

If you notice that your bedpan is leaking, replace it immediately. Leaking bedpans are dangerous because they can cause serious health problems.

Why Do People Need Bedpans?

Bedpans were invented in the early 1900s. They were created to allow patients who had difficulty moving to go to the bathroom without having to move far.

Bedpans were made out of metal and plastic. These days, most people still use bedpans to help those who cannot easily move around and get to the toilet themselves but do not need a catheter yet.

What Are The Benefits Of Using A Bedpan?

There are many benefits to using a bedpan. For starters, it helps prevent urinary tract infections (UTIs). UTIs occur because bacteria get into the bladder and cause an infection.

The best way to avoid UTIs is to empty your bladder every day. However, if you have trouble emptying your bladder, then using a bedpan will help.

The other benefit of using a bedpan is that it allows you to empty yourself with some element of control. If you do not empty your bladder, urine may build up causing discomfort.

When you use a bedpan, you can make sure that you empty your bladder completely and therefore reduce any discomfort without having to resort to catheters or other incontinence aids.

Another advantage of using a bedpan over going to the bathroom is that it is less messy than going to the bathroom.

Some people find it difficult to manage when they have to go to the bathroom if they have a disability that makes this hard. This is especially true if you have incontinence issues.

Final Thoughts

We hope after reading this article you have learned all you need to know about bedpans, including what they are, how to use them, and how to go about helping someone use one as a primary caregiver. 

A bedpan is a great accessory for someone who is unable to go to the toilet by themselves but is not ill enough to be given a catheter.

When positioned properly, it can create a hassle-free and clean way of going to the toilet for unable patients, and this is why they are so vital in the healthcare industry.

Eddie Lamb