A hospital bed is a bed specifically designed for gomers, patients with 20 out of 10 pain, sandwich deficiency syndrome (SDS), or any combination of the three. The beds are specially designed to promote discomfort and pressure ulcers for patients, and be a constant source of frustration for nurses and transport. For the cost of about $1000, the hospital bed has several features that never work.
Despite the wheels on the hospital bed, the parking brake is always engaged and cannot be manually overridden, making it more stationary than beds at home that have no wheels at all. It might as well be stripped for parts and placed on four cinder blocks.
Of the most important functions that do work is the manipulation of the bed's position, including height. The following excerpt from The House of God explains some of the key heights on the hospital bed:
Fats shouted out, "Going up!" pushed the button, and Rokitansky began to rise. During the smooth journey Fats called out, "Vacuum cleaners, ladies' lingerie, appliances, toys," and finally, when Rokitansky was five feet off the ground chest-level with us all, the Fat Man said, "This is one of the most important positions. From this height, if a gomer goes to ground it is an automatic intertrochanteric fracture of a hip, and a TURF TO ORTHOPEDICS. This height," said Fats, beaming, "is called "The Orthopedic.' The penultimate. And now, the ultimate." Again Fats hit the button, and Mr. Rokitansky floated on up, coming to rest at the level of our heads. "This height is called 'The Neurosurgical.' Going to ground from here results in the TURF TO NEUROSURGERY. And from there, they rarely BOUNCE back. Thank you, gentlemen, see you at lunch."
Another useful bed adjustment involves the sandwich' position in which both the head and foot of the bed are raised while keeping the torso center, effectively folding the patient like a sandwich. The sandwich position doesn't serve any therapeutic purpose, it is merely a space saver should you need to store multiple patients in a neat, organized, and efficient manner.
The main role of the side rails is to yank on a patient's IV, PICC, rectal tube, Foley, and telemetry, and cause bleeding. It's secondary role is to be an anchor for restraints.
Bed Exit Alarm
This lets the nurses station know that the patient just fell out of the bed, and either requires a CT of the head, an XR of the hip, or both. The bed exit alarm achieves nothing from a prevention standpoint. It just lets you know that something bad happened sooner.
Related Equipment in the Room