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Should nurses be taught how to make beds?

  • Comments (19)

Should nurses be taught how to make beds? What do you think?

In a recent discussion on twitter the topic of bed making came up. Comments were made about pleating sheets at the end of the bed, use of bed cradles and turning the open end of pillow cases away from the door.

Are these out dated practices or do they have a role in patient care? What do you think?

  • Comments (19)

Readers' comments (19)

  • Anonymous

    I think we have more pressing concerns at the moment Eileen.

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  • Anonymous

    When I trained about 20 years ago a full lesson was dedicated to making a bed correctly with hospital corners a must. How times have changed, now we are rush rush rush all the time, if trained staff are making a bed you can guarantee that they will be disturbed several times before the bed making can be completed. Different world now, as previously stated more pressing concerns at stake.

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  • As a first year nursing student I would have to say yes. Through out my training so far we have been taught to examine the evidence and then make our own decisions regarding our own practice. I truly believe all student nurses need thorough teaching in all aspects of fundamental care, including bedmaking, so they know how to do something properly. Once we have gained enough experience we can then adapt our practice to best suit the situation (i.e. time constraints) but at least we know how things should be done properly and why.

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  • Anonymous

    Mrs_C | 12-Jan-2012 6:16 pm

    excellent post and I entirely agree with you.

    I trained just post Florence Nightingale. Well at least that is how it seems! we had bed making competitions to see how many we could make perfectly as fast as possible. We had bandage rolling competitions too and our male nurse tutor held some distinguished prize.

    On the wards we always worked in twos but latterly I often found myself making quite a few beds on my own which always seemed a waste of time and energy.

    I worked abroad most of my career and in my last job in a clinic they had bottom sheets and duvets. Just after I had started there, and eager to make a good impression, an elderly colleague near retirement told me I would not progress far in my career because the corner of my duvet was about 2cm away from the corner of the cover and this despite an MSc in Healthcare Management! However, changing duvet covers successfully also takes skill which requires practice!

    My Mum made her beds at home so tight that my Dad feared for his life by contracting a DVT. Every night of his almost 50 years of married life he got into bed and kicked and kicked to loosen the sheets - luckily before my Mum got into bed!

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  • Little One

    Anonymous | 11-Jan-2012 5:40 pm

    I am currently in training and we had a lecture on the benefits of correct bedmaking and a how to session in the clinical skills lab. I was amazed at how quickly I was able to pick it up and make that perfect hospital corner, until I remembered that my mother is a Nurse and has made me make my bed using hospital corners since I was 10 years old!

    I do like hearing all the myths surrounding making beds. One day when at a loose end for a minute I went to the bed that two of my colleagues were making and started putting the pillowcases on the pillows, until one of them shrieked loudly "Put it down! You can't make beds in threes, someone will end up pregnant!" I stepped away from that bed pretty quick-smart as she was in her 50s, and the other nurse making the bed was a man...

    I was surprised the other day to realise that my patient's bed had a fitted sheet, I thought his relatives had brought it in from home but apparently it's the 'new thing' at the hospital and will soon be rolled out across the wards, so I suppose it makes the point about whether proper bedmaking sort of redundant.

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  • Little One

    "so I suppose it makes the point about whether proper bedmaking sort of redundant."

    Should read... so I suppose it makes the point about whether proper bedmaking is necessary, sort of redundant.

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  • When I did my training........ like the previous post just after Florence ! we made the beds every day. OK you got shocks from the static electricity and a sore back but you had valuable time to talk to the patient........ yes they do want to communicate and what better thing for any nurse to do, two things at once. I still point the end of my pillows away from the door but with fitted sheets and duvets no longer do hospital corners. We have lost the art of patient care and compassion . What better way to pick these skills up and take our profession back to the ethos of patient centred care than a spot of bed making !

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  • Anonymous

    judy mewburn | 15-Jan-2012 2:04 pm

    from Anonymous | 12-Jan-2012 7:34 pm

    and that was multitasking!

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  • Anonymous

    As a student nurse we were often in charge of the bed making in the morning. It gave us an invaluable opportunity to chat to the patients and get to know them, and build up relationships which helped in their care. I went on to do Neonates so I haven't made many beds in the same way since, but I remember my bedmaking with fondness, and am proud of being able to do a good hospital corner at home! I qualified 1999 so not that long ago...

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  • Anonymous

    I am currently in training in my second year now and a lot of fellow students think that bed making etc is a healthcare assisstants job and Nurses have other things to be getting on with.

    Personally i think to write patients notes effectivley you need to communicate well with patients and build a good rappor, a simple task like making a bed means you get to speak to the patient. It may be deemed a mindless task but utilising the time is the key point.

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