By John Moir, Marketing Executive
After an office move a few weeks ago I found myself sitting on a hard, plastic, and quite frankly very uncomfortable work chair. Thankfully it was short-lived and replaced with a much comfortable one – who’d have thought being able to adjust the height and give of a chair would feel so luxurious!
I was more focused on work and far more enthusiastic, all from just changing my chair.
It’s a balancing act that hospitals are constantly facing – having functional and affordable furniture that also supports patient and hospital staff’s wellbeing.
Dr. Kolcaba and her ‘Theory of Comfort’ concluded that comfort can aid recovery, so what considerations are there for choosing patient seating?
Soft doesn’t always mean comfort
One of the things to consider when choosing a patient chair is that soft does not necessarily equate to comfort. Excessively stuffed recliners or a badly design chair back often fail to provide patients with the correct lumbar support.
As a result, patients struggle to get comfortable and end up being given a pillow for support – surely defeating the purpose of buying a ‘comfortable’ patient chair!
In a hospital environment, particularly after surgery it is key to avoid putting the body under undue strain so a healthy seating posture is paramount in avoiding this.
Getting the correct position
Another consideration is height adjustment. It is generally accepted that your knees should be at a 90-degree angle with your feet flat on the floor. With this in mind, a height adjustable seat caters for people of all heights.
An adjustable backrest also allows the patient to be seated an angle that is not only comfortable but can encourage recovery, by taking strain and allowing a ‘zero gravity’ position. An electrically reclining chair could be adopted for those less mobile, where a remote can set the chair to the optimum position required.
Likewise, if you have a patient who is overweight, to avoid undue strain on the chair, a bariatric version with an increased weight capacity is an option to consider.
Taking mobility issues into account
A patient with mobility issues can struggle getting into and out of a hospital chair, particularly someon in a wheelchair. A chair with side access allows the patient to be simply be transferred from their wheelchair onto the chair with minimum disruption.
In addition, to keep moving between the chair and their wheelchair a mobile chair with oversized castors provides increased maneuverability. Patients can then be wheeled from bedside to communal areas.
Easy clean is key
With stringent hygiene standards to uphold, furniture that is easy to clean is critical. Chairs need to have smooth surfaces and no areas where dirt can gather. Wipe clean vinyl and removable seat cushions cleaning is quick and effective.
So, when choosing the chair that is correct for you and your patient there are plenty of things to consider. Picking isn’t only important for comfort but can be one of the key components to a successful and full recovery.
Make a note of the key features you’re looking for and speak to an expert who can guide you on the most suitable options.