Hospital beds must be made up in a specific manner. Bed-making is one of the fundamental chores that every nurse has to perform during her career. The procedure is very specific, and a nurse must be able to demonstrate that she can do it correctly to pass the nursing exam. Bed-making requirements differ based on whether the bed is occupied, if the patient is post-operative, and whether the bed is being cleaned and deodorized following a terminal patient.

Prepare the Bed

Raise the bed if possible. Slide side rails down. Remove the pillowcases and place the pillows aside. Fold bed covers and blankets and place them with the pillows to be reused.

Loosen the sheets along the sides of the mattress and pull them off the end of the bed. Remove the mattress pad and set aside. Wash the mattress if necessary and turn it over. Inspect it to make certain it is in good condition and does not have protruding springs.

Replace the mattress pad. Place the used sheets and pillowcases in a laundry receptacle.

Put on the Sheets

Place the flat sheet so that it is centered on the bed. Miter the top two corners by folding diagonally across the corner. Lift the mattress and tie the corners together under the mattress. Repeat for the bottom corners. Tuck the free sheet edges on the sides under the mattress, stretching to make the sheet smooth.

Place the fitted sheet over the mattress. Make certain the two corners at the foot of the bed are seated firmly and pull the top two corners over the mattress. Tuck in at the sides. Place a draw sheet in the center of the bed. Tuck in the edges on one side. Go around to the other side and stretch and tuck in the second side.

Add the top sheet, blanket and bedspread. Place them evenly one on top of the other, centered on the bed. Miter the bottom two corners and tuck all three in together. Leave the remainder loose and fan fold the top layers to the bottom of the bed.

Invert a clean pillowcase over one arm. Hold the pillow against the back seam and draw the pillowcase back over the pillow. Place the pillow at the top of the bed. Set adjustable beds to their lowest position and raise the side bars on one side, leaving one side bar down to allow the patient to get onto the bed.