CNA Skills Set: Partial Bed Bath

CNA Skills Set: Partial Bed Bath

Critical Skills Test partial bed bath

In the next section of our CNA Skill Set Test Study Guide, we will be covering the procedures for giving a patient a partial bed bath. Many patients will be unable to move and therefore cannot receive their baths inside of designated areas such as bathrooms or cleaning stations. This will therefore require you to give that person a bath while they are in the bed.

The most important thing that you need to remember is to ensure that the patient is comfortable and ensure the area is dry after you are finished. Wet sheets or clothing can cause skin irritation, rashes and bed sores. Leaving an area wet will be an automatic failure.

As always, before performing the below steps, you should always enter the room, state your name and what procedure you will be doing, wash your hands, check the room for cleanliness and sanitation, and always maintain a professional and caring manner.

Partial Bed Bath Steps

  1. Ensure all your equipment has been prepped and standing within arms reach. This includes checking the water and making sure it is of adequate temperature.
  2. Cover the patient so that areas not being washed are not exposed.
  3. During this process make sure to position a towel under the resident so as to mitigate moistening the bed sheets.
  4. Start with the face. Use a wet washcloth without soap and clean the face. With the eyes, begin with the inner canthus and then the outer canthus. When you move on to the next eye, be sure to use a different portion of the washcloth so as to avoid contamination. Also, ensure that the face is dry before moving on.
  5. Using a small amount of soap on the washcloth, then move to the neck, arms, hands and chest. Once washed, ensure these areas are dry before moving on.
  6. Then have the patient turn on their side so that you can now wash their back.
  7. Then apply lotion to their back in a smooth circular motion.
  8. If the resident is able to wash their perineal area, then provide them with the means to do so, if not, then change your gloves and perform as necessary.
  9. Once you are complete, do a check of the area ensure thing patient is dry and assist them to maneuver into a comfortable position.

IMPORTANT Remember to always have the rail guards up on the side you are not on. This can be a safety hazard and can cause failure of that section. Leaving a side unattended and without an arm rail up, will result in an automatic failure.

Video Exercise to Help you Visualize and Practice this Section

CNA Skills Set: Partial Bed Bath by


  1. 2 questions for anyone that can answer that have taken the CNA exam…I am testing out..Ive done CNA work in past……If doing the Partial bed bath. Do you have to do peri care?? Or do you just tell evalurator that Patient will be doing it?? Or do we just do peri care? Also when doing your measurements and you sign for EX: pulse and they have you sign your name. Are we signing .for Ex: J. Jones, CNA??? I forget ????