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They also thought it would be useful with residents "on precautions" for contagious conditions, such as skin infections, because they could be bathed without leaving their own rooms.
The resident is typically transferred onto the stretcher while still in his or her room and transported to the bathing facility, bathed and then returned to the room having never left the stretcher.
It wasn't until the early 1900s that many people knew that keeping clean helped eliminate germs, and most people bathed at least once a week.