Bed Making Techniques in a Hospital


There are different types of methods to make a bed in a hospital. The bed-making methods are designed for different situations revolving around the patient. The methods also send a message to the hospital staff on how to plan and schedule the direction of care for the patient’s treatment.

Beginning Bottom Flat Sheet

All hospital bed-making starts with the bottom cover of the bed; it may be fitted or flat. A flat sheet will be flush to the head of the bed with the edge swooped under and out the side one time, the edge brought by one finger up over the top corner to form a 90-degree angle. The remaining hanging edge is swooped under the mattress again and then the 90-degree, triangle edge tucked under the mattress to create a mitered corner or a hospital corner. The other top bedding varies in position depending on what type of bed is to be made.

Closed Bed

The closed bed is made after the discharge of a patient and/or after terminal cleaning. It stays as a closed bed until the patient arrives. The top sheet and blanket are flush to the foot of the bed where hospital corners are implemented halfway only to leave the triangle edge hanging over the bed in a crisp-lined flap. The top edge of the bedding at the head of the bed is fan-folded to show the sheet and partially the blanket.

Open Bed

To open a closed bed upon receiving an admitted patient, the head side, fan-folded edge is fan-folded to the foot of the bed. This type of bed-making is called an open bed. It sends a welcoming and warm sign to the patient that hospital staff is prepared for the patient’s admission and treatment.

Occupied Bed

An occupied bed is made while the patient is still in the bed. The patient may not be able to move him or herself out of the bed. The bed linen must be changed to provide cleanliness and decrease the risk of infection to the patient. With the least stress possible to patient and worker, the patient is rolled to one side while the other side of the bed is made. Then the patient is rolled onto the made side while the remaining opposite side is completed. The top bedding is fan-folded to the desire of the patient.

Unoccupied Bed

The unoccupied bed is both like a closed bed and an open bed. The fanfold of a closed bed is turned down three-quarters of the way towards the foot of the bed, so that it almost looks like an open bed. The unoccupied bed is made while a patient is in the shower or sitting up in a chair.

Surgical Bed

A surgical bed provides a warm, safe, inviting environment to a patient who has just returned from having surgery. The top bedding is fan-folded from the head and foot of the bed toward the middle third of the bed and then fan-folded to the opposite side of the bed that the patient will enter.

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