Fundamentals of Nursing: Bed Making

Nursing is a profession that requires extensive training in patient care and procedures. One of these tasks is learning how to make a bed properly, especially since beds are such an integral part of the patient’s world while staying in the hospital. The routine to change an unoccupied bed is efficient and thorough, due to the volume of beds that need changing. Some patients may require an absorbent pad near the center of the bed. In that case, a smaller sheet called a draw sheet covers it and gets tucked in place.

Raise an adjustable bed to an appropriate height that works for you to operate comfortably and lower either or both side rails if they are locked in place.

Establish a clean area and remove and fold blankets and spreads putting them in the clean area. Remove the pillowcases from the pillows and place the pillows with the blankets. Pillowcases should begin a neat dirty linen pile or be placed into a dirty laundry cart.

Untuck the sides of the linen and move all linen toward the bottom of the bed. Remove and place all dirty linen with the dirty pillowcases.

Wash the bed if it is soiled or in need of washing and turn the mattress if needed as well. Replace the mattress pad if soiled or in need of one.

Unfold and place the bottom sheet on the bed with excess equally draped over the top and bottom. Fold the excess sheet under the top part of the mattress and then raise the top corner of the sheet at a 45-degree angle and lay it on top of the bed. Tuck the rest of the sheet under the mattress. Fold the corner lying on the bed, underneath the mattress. This process is called mitering. Repeat the exact process on the bottom of the bed. Then do the other side the same way.

Use the fitted sheet next by lifting each corner of the mattress until the sheet fits snuggly on the bed and tuck in any side excess.

If an absorbent pad is necessary, add it now in the center of the bed and place a draw sheet over it. The draw sheet stretches from one side of the bed to the other. Tuck the draw sheet in on both sides of the mattress.

Unfold the top sheet and place it evenly centered on the bed. The bottom corners need mitering and the bottom needs tucked underneath the mattress.

Place folded blankets or spreads at the foot of the bed, followed by the top sheet folded down in quarters or what is called a fanfold. This allows the patient to grab the sheet and pull it towards the top of the bed and it easily unfolds as this happens.

Place pillowcases on all pillows by turning the cases inside out and grabbing the pillow with your hand inside of the case. As the case goes on, the inside out position reverses until the pillowcase fits the pillow completely.

Readjust the bed height and raise the side rail of the bed that is farthest from the door.