The Art Of Bedmaking

  1. 0
    Scenario:

    I've been working on being a CNA since last fall. I stupidly took a six-week course where the instructor did nothing but babysat and continuously avoided our questions while telling us everything was in the book (which sucks I might add). I'm taking a course which will be a couple of months and it's a little better, but some of my frustrations about the previous class seem to appear here as well.

    The biggest hurdle, the one I've never completely been comfortable with, is bedmaking. It should be so easy and natural given that people do it everyday, but CNA's in training are given this "ritzy hotel" version of how to make a bed (complete with how to fold, hem away from patient and all kinds of extra things). As I've tried to tell the instructor of the previous class and the current class I'm in, I need to get extra time to get more comfortable.

    Yesterday I was given the chance to work with a partner and get some time in the lab to work on beds. Suddenly the partner I was assigned didn't want to do it and the person who usually lets people into the labs had to leave early. There are evening classes that I could stay for, but I don't usually like the way the neighborhood looks at the end of the night (ghetto central).

    I explained to the teacher how this puts me at a dilemma. I get an answer about learning on my own and not having an attitude. I explained to her that my attitude is due to the fact that I am trying to learn how to do this so that you don't have to look over my shoulder all the time.

    I have a full-size bed and a queen sized bed in my parents house I can use to practice, is there a place online where I can purchase sheets similar to the ones hospitals use (I know some are the same such as the fitted and flat sheets, but it always helps to get that simulation).

    Once I get comfortable with this aspect, everything else should be gravy. Hopefully I don't sound whiny as I know everyone goes through this kind of headache getting help in this particular part of the medical industry.
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  3. 5 Comments so far...

  4. 2
    What exactly is giving you trouble? Is it the hospital folds on the bottom corner? Is it making an occupied bed? There should be examples of both on youtube.

    No special sheets required. Just one fitted bottom sheet, a top sheet, and a blanket. You could use a bath towel to simulate a draw sheet or "granny pad" if you want to.

    The concept of making an occupied bed is simple, You have the patient roll onto their side(usually easier said than done, which is why this is often a 2 person operation in the real world), then roll the dirty bedding towards the back of the patient til its up against their back, and kind of tuck it under them some if you can. Then put the new bottom sheet and draw sheet on the half of the bed that doesnt have any bedding now, rolling the side facing the patient some as well, so you now have two big rolls up against the patients back. You then roll the patient the other way facing the fresh bedding, rolling them over the two big rolls. Next continue to roll the dirty bedding until its completely off the bed, and throw it in a linen bag, then unroll the new bedding til it covers the whole bed.

    While you do all this you can throw a blanket or at least a sheet over the patient to give them some privacy and warmth, in fact thats probably required for testing purposes.

    Its pretty simple and should be easy to learn in a classroom environment. In the real world its not always so easy, as the patient and the dirty linen may sometimes be soaked in urine and/or covered in feces, and you will have to clean up the patient at the same time your making the bed. The patients will sometimes be dead weight, stiff as a board, be combative, and will have tubes and lines attached to them, or worst of all even be on a ventilator. To further complicate things if they having severe breathing difficulty you will have to work quickly as they may struggle to breath if you put the head of the bed down to roll them.

    Hope this helped a little. Obviously it is best to SEE it, so check out youtube.
    carakristin1 and Hygiene Queen like this.
  5. 0
    Funtimes hit it right on the head. You can practice the bedmaking at home without buying any special sheets (though it might hurt your back since you can't raise the bed up at home). Have your parent/sibling/significant other help you practice making an occupied bed if you feel that would be helpful. And I agree, YouTube is your friend in this instance. Repositioning a patient on my own (still not my favorite task) was my Achilles heel, but watching some instructional videos really helped; I'm sure this will be the same.

    As Funtimes also mentioned, the way you learn it to take your test and the way you'll do it in the real world don't always match up. Learn it for the test first, and in clinicals pay attention to how your preceptor deals with the issues of combative or comatose patients and with soiled bed linens.

    Things I find helpful when making beds:
    -Make sure you have EVERYTHING stacked in the order you need it - bath blanket, washcloths, towels, fitted sheet, pull sheet and underpad if that's what you use, and top sheet and blanket. I also make sure I change my pillowcases first thing so that I have all fresh pillows for the patient when I'm done making the bed.
    -I always roll my pull sheet and underpad up a little bit so that when I am ready to start putting new linen on the bed, I don't have to waste time putting those together.
    -Make sure you are pushing the fitted sheet and pull sheet far enough under the patient/old bed linens; otherwise you will have a heck of a time trying to get them out when the patient rolls to the other side.

    That's all I can think of for now. Definitely practice at home, and at the evening class if you feel safe enough. I'm sure you can find someone to walk with you to your car or something if it is that bad in the neighborhood. Good luck!
  6. 0
    Well, after a few turns around the block the CNA Coordinator at my school has decided to let me in for some extra time in the lab room. I feel a bit better about how to make beds, but I'm still working on the pacing. I try to concentrate on being calm as I tend to get tense about my teacher always looking around.

    One thing that is bother me. I took notes in class about bedmaking (a chapter we didn't even do when we started making beds) today. I asked her, for clarification, what one does with a flat sheet to make it a draw sheet when there are no flat sheets left: She said you put it on the bed seam side facing away from the patient's feet.

    When I practice at home I face a problem with this as my bed is a full size bed. When I do the flat sheet seam side down, it looks as if it's simply acting as another top sheet. Technically a draw sheet when done as a flat sheet is supposed to be folded once so that it can look like a draw sheet. Maybe I'm overthinking it...

    Where am I messing up?
  7. 0
    I think you may be over thinking it. For me, when I was a brand-new CNA, the hardest part was making a bed quick. Occupied bed is difficult with heavy or contracted patients. Just watch the youtube videos, and you should be fine.
  8. 0
    Quote from mistercna
    Scenario:

    I've been working on being a CNA since last fall. I stupidly took a six-week course where the instructor did nothing but babysat and continuously avoided our questions while telling us everything was in the book (which sucks I might add). I'm taking a course which will be a couple of months and it's a little better, but some of my frustrations about the previous class seem to appear here as well.

    The biggest hurdle, the one I've never completely been comfortable with, is bedmaking. It should be so easy and natural given that people do it everyday, but CNA's in training are given this "ritzy hotel" version of how to make a bed (complete with how to fold, hem away from patient and all kinds of extra things). As I've tried to tell the instructor of the previous class and the current class I'm in, I need to get extra time to get more comfortable.

    Yesterday I was given the chance to work with a partner and get some time in the lab to work on beds. Suddenly the partner I was assigned didn't want to do it and the person who usually lets people into the labs had to leave early. There are evening classes that I could stay for, but I don't usually like the way the neighborhood looks at the end of the night (ghetto central).

    I explained to the teacher how this puts me at a dilemma. I get an answer about learning on my own and not having an attitude. I explained to her that my attitude is due to the fact that I am trying to learn how to do this so that you don't have to look over my shoulder all the time.

    I have a full-size bed and a queen sized bed in my parents house I can use to practice, is there a place online where I can purchase sheets similar to the ones hospitals use (I know some are the same such as the fitted and flat sheets, but it always helps to get that simulation).

    Once I get comfortable with this aspect, everything else should be gravy. Hopefully I don't sound whiny as I know everyone goes through this kind of headache getting help in this particular part of the medical industry.
    There is bedmaking videos on You Tube...Remeber, the corners need to be folded up under the bed then you have some of the sheet hanging your gonna bring that up so it looks like a triangle shape and tuck that under the bed so it is tight. The you tube videos will help just type in CNA bedmaking skills and watch the different videos. That should also help you after you do it a few times and remember the steps you will do great!!


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