PREPARING THE PATIENT’S BED
Save yourself a lot of trouble and make accidents easier to clean by preparing the bed with a rubber sheet or a piece of plastic and a draw sheet.
A draw sheet is a sheet folded in half and placed over the normal sheet to pad the area under the patient’s posterior. When an accident occurs it can be cleaned up easily by removing only the draw sheet and the plastic.
I have learned that when you are dealing with the unknown be sure to prepare yourself for the worst. At first this wisdom meant be prepared for a mess.
It is also important to learn how to change a bed while the patient is in it. There will be times when you will not be able to put the patient in a chair while changing the bed.
First, turn the patient on her side. Help her flex her knees for ease of turning. If the patient can’t turn alone, grasp the draw sheet across the patient and pull it toward you as you pull the sheet. The patient should have both legs bent for ease of staying on their side. Now, loosen the soiled linen and roll in toward the patient. Put the clean sheets on that side of the bed and roll the new sheets under the patient along with the old ones. Next, roll the patient over the bundled sheets and onto the clean ones and smooth the new ones in place on the other side, as you take away the soiled ones. Keep the patient with knees flexed for comfort. Add the plastic pad and draw sheet in the same manner, pulling the draw sheet tight as you tuck it under the mattress. Now add the top sheet, blanket and spread and you are finished. If the blanket bothers the patient’s feet when they are on their back, simply make a pleat in the top sheet and the blanket, to give them more room for their feet.
This method of changing a bed is simple and doesn’t require moving the patient from the bed. If your patient can get up, have them sit and relax while you change the bed.
You should change the bedclothes twice a week, if the patient spends most of their time in bed. It will keep them more comfortable and lessen the chance of bedsores or pressure points.