Getting confined in the hospital means you will have to lie on a hospital bed for the large part of your confinement. While you are physically ill or on the road to recuperation, your safe retreat is your bed. That is why the type or quality of medical bed is critical to a patient's recovery. A hospital bed should make it easy for you to sleep, move, get up and out of bed, and get back to it. Because it is used for more than just sleeping, its dimensions, size and features are primarily designed for the patient's comfort as well as for the physician who attends to the patient. Here's how to better understand the different types of hospital beds.
- Manually operated - Hospital beds that are manually operated have simple features that are controlled by a hand-operated crank. The crank functions to elevate either the head or foot part of the bed while there is also the ability to lift the whole frame of the bed. A manual type patient bed is less expensive compared to an electric bed as the former is quite heavy to maneuver. Its economical price however makes it one of the most common types of hospital beds that can still be found in medical institutions to this day.
- Semi-electric - With a use of a crank for adjusting the height of the bed, a semi-electric hospital bed can adjust the head and foot of the bed using an electric motor. Some electric beds use a combination of head and knee positioning system by a manual high and low adjustment. This is also a very common type of bed preferred for home use. Many manufacturers provide ergonomically designed semi-electric hospital beds that can be procured at minimal cost.
- Fully-electric - Logically, all adjustability features of a fully-electric hospital bed are controlled electrically. As a patient, you will not need assistance to adjust the height of your bed should you need to get in and out of bed as you can easily control the adjustments on your own. Among the different features present in a fully-electric hospital bed include head and foot high/low adjustments, orthopedic mattress, safety thermal overload protected motors, rails, big button hand control, joystick control, etc. Most electric beds have a minimum height of 18 inches from the top of the mattress to the floor. This feature enables easy transfer of the patient from a wheelchair. A 12-inch high and low mechanism also allows convenient transfer to the wheelchair. Because electric hospital beds gives additional comfort features for patients, caregivers and doctors, it is not surprising that this type can be very expensive.
- Hospital specialty bed - This type of bed is rarely used in the home. It has a wide range of medical features purposely devised for use by a health care professional in order to meet the specific needs of the patient. Specialized or customized types of patient hospital beds are usually expensive.
- Adjustable bed - Typically all hospital beds which have adjustability features are called adjustable beds. However this type usually refers to the beds used for home care situations. They are designed like an ordinary bed with sizes of full, king, and queen. Features may include traditional coil spring, memory foam typically used for therapy, adjustable air mattress, etc.
There are many variations of hospital beds and manufacturers continue to devise more advanced models to provide a hospital bed that perfectly meets the patient's needs.