What precautions must be considered when selecting an appropriate hospital bed for a patient? Why?

Expert Answers
litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The most important thing to consider when selecting the appropriate hospital bed for a patient is that the bed must be in the right ward.  Hospitals are organized based on how the patients are sick.  You need to make sure to assign the patient to the right place so that he or she gets the right care.  In addition, it is important to make sure the right nurse and medical staff are attending the patient.  Certain doctors may make rounds in certain areas, and you need to ensure that the patient’s doctor has regular access to him.

Of course, there are other things to consider.  If the hospital is not too crowded, it might be good to put some patients in rooms that are less full to give them and their loved ones some privacy.  However, some patients might prefer to be in the room with other patients so that they have some company. 

In addition, some areas of the hospital are less noisy and chaotic that others.  Very sick patients are kept in special wards such as the Intensive Care Unit where extra precautions are taken to insure that they are isolated.  These beds are reserved for the more severely ill patients.

Within a room, there are beds closer to certain features such as windows, televisions, closets, restrooms, and the outer door.  Your patient's access to these things can also be considered.

Fortunately, software exists to help assign patients to the proper beds.  Of course, we must also use our judgement to make sure that a human being, and not just a machine, considers all of the factors.

StephanieRR | Student

Here are some other things to consider when selecting a hospital bed:

Mattress type- Mattresses can be made from different materials like air, foam, or gel, and these different types provide varying types of support. Sometimes the mattress can be specially made to relieve specific pressure along the body. Is there a particular mattress that would create problem pressure sores in a patient? Is there one that might support the patient's body particularly well and therefore lower the risk of these sores forming?

Other patients- When assigning a new patient to a bed, it is vital to know that there will not be any effect suffered or inflicted by the surrounding patients. For example, a patient bed-ridden by a disease should not be placed in close proximity to patients who are bed-ridden due to bodily injury if it would be possible for that disease to spread. There should also always be enough room around the bed for someone to walk around the sides, so precautions should also be taken to ensure there aren't too many beds in a room.

Bed type- hospital beds can be manual or electric. A patient with the inability to turn the crank of a manual bed to change the elevation would do better using the remote of the electric bed. However, if patient control of the bed's elevation might result in the patient getting hurt, it would be better to place the patient in a manual bed where the nurse would have primary access to the crank.

While these are some things to keep in mind when first selecting a bed, the source I have included below also goes on to outline safety precaution when the patient is already occupying the bed, which might also be helpful.

Wiggin42 | Student

Some features to consider when selecting a hospital bed for a patient are:

mobility (Does the bed need wheels so the patient can be transported with ease?)

elevation (Does the patient have any breathing problems that can be remedied by elevating them? Will the patient need to be fed?)

side rails (Does the patient run the risk of falling off? Will it make them feel more secure?)

Bed malfunctions, especially with manual crank beds, must be watched out for since there are cases where malfunctions injure or kill patients. 

anjna | Student

1. Bed should be air or water cushioned, so that bed sore can be prevented.

2. Adequate light and ventilation should maintained to prevent super-added infection.

3. Bed should have head end elevator as it is necessary for the cardiac patient

4. Leg end elevator as it is necessary in patient with spinal anaesthesia.

5. side rail to prevent fall from bed.

6. Easily accessible helping switch by which a patient can draw attraction of on-duty nurses in time of emergency.

7. Bed should be far away from a infectious patient.

8. Check the bed beneath the bed cover and look for cleanliness i.e. if there is any blood stain, dirty bed etc. and then avoid it. It will prevent infection.