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How To Clean Hospital Beds

By Edited Jan 26, 2016 3 5

As a nurse by profession, providing the best, most effective, partient care is heavily reliant upon a healthcare professionals strict adherence to sanitary practices. From washing hands to learning how to clean hospital beds, it is important that everyone who works in a health care setting know how to clean hospital beds prior to and after patient use. Unfortunately, it is expected that, with compromised human conditions, that people will naturally leave a bed filled with bacteria and harmful germs.

These bacteria can live and grow on solid surfaces. This is why it is important for health care professionals to clean hospital beds. Not only does it provide for a healthier work environment, but families of patients will also be happy that this has occurred prior to their loved one using the hospital bed. With the patient ultimately as the center of our considerations for care, cleaning hospital beds prior to use conveys a warm regard for patients' holistic needs.

Things You Will Need

Disposable Gloves
Nurses Aid (Task can be delegated if R.N. is busy giving medications)
Disposable Cleaning Cloths
Hospital Grade Germicidal Spray
Can of Compressed Air to clean bedframe

Step 1

Any nursing textbook will heavily emphasize the importance of hand washing in the health care setting. Because your hands can easily spread harmful bacteria, it is particularly important that you do this. Not only is it important that you do this prior to cleaning a hospital bed, but you should also do it prior to just about any task that involves the patient. Once you have washed and dryed your hands with antibacterial soap, you can now proceed to put on disposable gloves and a mask. Placing gloves on wet hands will only serve to be difficult, therefore you must ensure that your hands are thoroughly dry before putting your disposable gloves on.

You will find that, in most hospital setting, disposable gloves and masks will be easily accessible. You can either obtain them from the patient's room, or in the utility supply room.
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Step 2

You should now disconnect the hospital bed from the wall in order to interrupt any flow of electricity that may be occuring. When in a rush, however, you may not see others do this step. The scientific basis for this is to simply remove the bed completely from any electric source prior to washing it. This makes sense because a new era of technology has provided us with high functioning beds that operate under a great deal of electricity, which is supplied to do just about everything from raising and lowering your head and feet to setting off the alarm that notifies the nurses' station of a need. Every functionality of this new age of hospital beds is particularly designed with the patient in mind.

Step 3

Unless you are operating in a third world country, even then you should have some sort of medical grade germicide spray available to use. You will now want to spray this germicide onto your cloth in a way that simply dampens it rather than completely saturates the cloth. In this step, you will want to be careful to not spray your germicide cleansing spray directly onto any electronic controls or devices, such as any alarm or device used to raise or lower a patient's head or feet. Doing so can cause the germicide to seep into the device and actually damage the inner working parts. A damp cloth is all you will need in order to accomplish this simple task.

In this step, you will want to continue to thoroughly wiping down all your controllers and electronic devices. Gentleness is key, however, it pays to be ever vigilant with regards to the intricate details of cleanliness. Clean as if it were your property that you were presenting to someone else for their regard or opinion. You should be proud of your work, whether you are cleaning a hospital bed or providing direct care to a patient.
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Step 4

In this step, you will want to remove the waterproof mattress completely from the hospital bed. If you have ever worked in a health care setting, you may be familiar with seeing the blue waterproof mattresses that are used repeatedly patient after patient. Once you have removed the mattress from the bed, you can now use your can of compressed air to completely remove dust and debris from the outlying bed frame. Since these hospital beds may not be cleaned frequently, to such an extent, it is important to ensure that you spray your compressed air into as many crevices or potentially hidden spots. The plastic frame of these types of beds can curve in different locations, causing dirt and dust to aggregate after any period of time of not being cleaned appropriately.

Upon completion of spraying your compressed air on the bed frame, you should now apply your germicidal to the bed frame with your cleansing cloth. In order for your germicidal to have the best effect, you should allow it to set for several minutes. In this step, you will also spray your mattress with your germicidal spray. Allowing your spray to set for a few minutes will afford it the opportunity to maximize your hospital bed cleansing effort.

Step 5

Once your hospital grade germicidal spray has remained on your bed frame, and mattress, for a few minutes, you will then simply wipe it off. You will want to wipe from top to bottom, until no germicidal spray is visible. At this point, your germicidal has done its job and any remaining germicidal spray can leave an unpleasant residue on the hospital bed mattress that you will want to try to avoid. Try to be as thorough as possible in every step of the cleaning process. Future patients probably won't recognize your effort, however, it is important, for health purposes, to ensure that you are doing each step in this process as completely as possible.

Step 6

For your last and final step, you will simply place the mattress back onto the bed frame and allow both to thoroughly dry. After a few minutes, you will then replace and/or reattach all the electronic remotes and devices that you initially took off of the bed frame. If you unplugged anything, you will proceed to plug these devices back into the wall so that they can be used by future patients. Once all of this is completed, you can now apply clean linens to your hospital bed. These linens can typically be found in your hospital unit's supply and clean utilities room.

Cleaning a hospital bed isn't overly complicated. It is important that you simply adhere to sanitary measures, and strive to clean even the most remote locations that may be hidden or not quite as obvious.

Tips & Warnings

Do not spray your germicidal spray directly onto attached electronic equipment. You will want to avoid doing anything that causes the germicidal spray to seep in between the open crevices outlying and surrounding buttons. Prior to spraying your germicidal cleansing spray, you should disconnect the bed from the wall, as well as, any accompanying electronic equipment.

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Feb 2, 2010 12:47am
A very helpful article.
Feb 2, 2010 3:45am
Great article on how to clean hospital beds.
Feb 2, 2010 10:47am
Useful article. There is so much Norovirus and the like in UK hospitals lately
Feb 2, 2010 6:58pm
So many little buggies get passed on needlessly, you've shown one more step that most people just pass off now days. This job has normally been done by the house keeping staff at the long term care facilities that I have worked and. Believe me when I say that they were no where near as through as you have shown!
Feb 4, 2010 9:09am
After a family member's recent injury, I spent a lot of time at the hospital and watched the staff as they cleaned rooms. I was impressed by the care taken to ensure a clean, sterile environment. Your method for cleaning a hospital bed is quite thorough and hopefully followed by all cleaning crews who prepare rooms between patients. Well written!
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