Monday, November 22, 2010

Hospital Beds

Hospital beds, what can be done to get a good night's sleep in one? I don't mean the electronic beds that raise and lower, fold, and weigh patients. I mean the ones that the parent or significant other sleeps in to be near the patient.

The hospital that Talli usually stays at has 3 different types of beds, the worse being a hide-a-bed type, that folds out from a chair with a thin, likely spring mattress. The better ones in my opinion are more like day-beds that a couches and may have removable pillows or pull out slightly from the wall. My dorm bed in college was this latter type.

Over the weekend, I spent the night with Talli in the hospital. For the past 3 years, my husband has taken the honors on almost every night (40+ nights), however, he was sick when Talli was admitted, so I stayed with her. Unfortunately, she was put in a small room that will only accommodate the worst of the parent beds. I tried a couple of things to help make my attempt at some sound sleep-
1. sleep with your head at the foot of the bed. While initially, it felt an though I was laying downhill, a couple of pillows remedied that. The mattress was less worn at the foot.

2. layer a couple of blankets. I folded 2 blankets in half under the sheet. This gave more support and evened out the feel of the springs, so one wasn't poking me in the knee or some other random place.

3. Sleep in the parent room or "quiet room". I didn't do it this time, but I have in the past. The beds seem to the newer and more comfortable in there. Even in our hospital with about 15 peds beds, there is a lounge-type room with an extra bed in it. At larger facilities, we have used their parent suite that had several beds and a full bath with sitting area.

4. Trade beds. Talli loves to sleep in the pull outs, so often she and my husband switch (with the nurse's ok). When O had surgery a few weeks ago, the nurse gave me the option of just having a hospital bed in the room to sleep together, instead of a crib for him. However, with that option, I would have needed to stay with him ALL of the time and I knew at some point I would need a crib to just use the bathroom.
When Talli was younger she also liked to sleep in the wagon they had in the unit, so that freed up her bed. When she had pneumonia once, she would only use the oxygen if she could sleep in the wagon.

Please post a comment if you have other ideas on how to get a good night's sleep in the hospital.

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