Changing an occupied bed

Ideally it is best to change the sheets when the patient is not in the bed. However, there are times when you may need to changed bedlinen while the patient remains in the bed. Before you begin, explain to the patient how you are going to change their sheets.

Before you start, be sure you have everything you need nearby.

Remove blankets and top sheet from the bed. If the patient is soiled it is best to clean up the patient before putting clean sheets on the bed.

If you have a hospital bed, be sure the siderails are up. Position the bed to just below your waist level to avoid bending and put the bed in a flat position then lower the rail on the you are standing. Gently roll the patient away from you and on their side. Remove the corners of the bottom sheet and roll the sheet lengthwise towards the middle of the bed close to the patient. If there is soil on the sheet, clean it up or cover it with a clean bath towel so that it does not touch the patient. If you need to clean the bed itself, you can do it as this time.Use only warm water, and detergent if needed. Rinse with a rag of clean water and towel dry.

On the side of the bed you just cleared, put the clean sheet on the mattress and tuck in the top and bottom corners. Roll it across the bed lengthwise and move it toward the soiled sheet, being careful not to let them touch. Put up the side rails of the side you were working and move to the other side of the bed, where you will lower the bed rails.

On the other side of the bed, roll the patient over the mound in the middle and onto the clean side of the bed. See if the patient can assist by reaching with their hand to pull themselves over. They should be laying on their side and facing away from you. Repeat what you did on the first side, removing the sheet and cleaning any messes along the way. Once you roll the soiled sheet to the middle you should be able to remove it completely. Continue to roll out the clean bed linen that is tucked along the patient. Attach the bed corners to the top and bottom of the bed. Gently roll patient onto their back and replace the top covers and blankets.

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