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Occupied Bed Making

Some patients are not able to get out of bed, but ensuring that they have fresh bedding regularly is important. To do this, you as a CNA will help to change the bed while the patient is still in it. With the right technique, you can do this while maintaining patient comfort and safety.

What is the Purpose of Making a Bed?

Bed linens can become soiled with time. It can also be uncomfortable when linens are not made regularly. For example, if there are bunches in the sheets, this could eventually cause damage to a patient’s skin, especially when they are elderly or have difficulty getting out of bed.

Dirty sheets and blankets may also exacerbate certain health conditions. For example, patients with conditions like eczema, asthma, and allergies may experience worsening symptoms when their bed linens are not changed regularly. This is because linens can hold onto dust mites and other common allergens.

How to Make an Occupied Bed?

There are some specific steps that you want to use when you are making an occupied bed. These include:

  1. Wash your hands and put on a clean pair of gloves
  2. Gently roll the patient onto their side
  3. On the opposite side, remove the upper and lower corners of the fitted sheet
  4. Take the new sheet and apply it to the upper and lower corners on this side of the bed
  5. Lay the patient onto their back and move to the other side of the bed
  6. Once you are on the other side of the bed, roll the patient again to the other side
  7. Pull the old sheet from the corners and remove it from the bed
  8. Pull the new sheet out from under the patient and attach the corners to the mattress
  9. Roll the patient onto their back
  10. Remove the blanket and give the patient a fresh one
  11. Help the patient to get into a comfortable position and readjust the bedrails
  12. Take the old linens and put them into the hamper
  13. Remove your gloves and make sure to wash your hands again

Video Instructions for Making an Occupied Bed

Expert Tips & Advice on Bed Making

Before you start changing an occupied bed, make sure that you have everything that you need within reach. If you have to keep leaving the bedside, this will cause the task to take longer, and it can put the patient at risk for falls.

When you are rolling the patient toward a specific side, always have the bedrail up on this side. This will prevent the patient from rolling out of bed accidentally. You can also ask the patient to hold onto the rail to assist you in moving them with less effort.

If it is possible, have someone help you with this task, especially if the patient is larger or completely unable to help with this task. This will make changing an occupied bed easier and promote a higher level of patient safety.

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