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Two assumptions underlie the many letters you published on the bathing controversy: that nurses who care give baths, and nurses who don't care pretend to be too busy with more important tasks ("Too Posh-or Too Busy?" Letters, January 2005). These attitudes tap into our profession's innate sense of guilt and inadequacy. Instead of focusing on bathing, we should cultivate a respectful understanding of individual styles of nursing practice. Clearly some patients need daily bathing, and some nurses might find bathing a patient to be useful and efficient. Others might not. We should respect differences in nursing practice and time-management styles.


More important, we need to stop the divisive commentary that threatens our profession by suggesting that one's professional integrity is tied to whether one gives baths or delegates them.