Nurses Helped Select Beds for New Hospital

Posted 25 August 2014 1:14 PM by TCAuthor3

By Carol Ryczek, Shawano Medical Center Community Relations Manager

I have a friend who tucked her children into bed each night with the phrase, “Sleep with the angels.” (She still says this if they are having an evening conversation, although it is now by phone, over many miles of separation. Angels don’t pay attention to decades or distance.)

It’s a part of life in most families -- a prayer, a story, a song – the comforting routine that brings us to our beds.

Hospitals have routines, too, and nurses understand that they are different than we are used to. At night, they make patients comfortable with warm blankets, dim lights, and a careful arrangement of pillows. They stop in to see patients, both to check their medical condition and to reassure them someone is watching out for them. The nurses also may adjust the bed, because in a hospital, the bed itself is part of the comforting routine.

Patients who stay overnight at the new ThedaCare Medical Center-Shawano will spend their nights and much of their days in new hospital beds. These beds have a mattress and sheets, but that is about the only thing they have in common with the bed you’ll see at home.

Like most hospital beds, the new beds have electronic controls that bring the bed up and down, tilt from head to foot, and allow patients to sit up. The new ones do that without pushing the patients’ feet into the footboard! They have attachments for equipment (like the pole for drip medications), an overhead trapeze for sitting up, and sides to prevent you from rolling out. An automatic scale means patients don’t have to shift onto a sling, or get out of bed to be weighed. The beds have easy-to-use brakes, and automatic alarms. Many older beds have these features, but the new ones are automatic or easily reached.

Some of the nursing staff helped make the decision on which beds to buy. They said they liked the automatic features of the beds, such as the scale and the alarms. Every small feature on the bed means fewer steps for staff, and more time to spend with patients. This frees up time for things like “rounding” (regular visits to patients even when they don’t ask for help.)

“We don’t wake patients, but we want to make sure we are there if they need us,” Registered Nurse Janalee Krueger said. “We are here for them all night long.”

It’s a different nighttime routine, but comforting, all the same. Sweet dreams.