(Over The Bed) Table Talk: The Necessity of Over the Bed Tables in Health Settings

I have been a hospital patient three times in my life. And I will unabashedly admit that I paid little attention to anything other than my comfort level at any given time. Recently, I found myself spending multiple days in an out-of-state hospital with my mom, who had fallen while on vacation and required surgery.

I was there as moral support, company, and to fuss over her with little tasks while the hospital care staff did the heavy lifting. It was fascinating to watch the routines in place, the little tricks of the trade the nurses had devised, and the clear purposefulness of each item in the room – nothing extraneous to hinder the well-oiled (human) machine that was helping my mom.

The item that clearly was the most used and of the utmost importance to my mom was her over the bed table. It was her source of comfort, control, and independence. Almost like a blankie, it was soothing for her to always have it within arm’s reach whether across or next to her hospital bed or reclining chair. On it, neatly organized into a system that was all my mom’s, was her cell phone, iPad, her glasses, a box of tissues, and a water glass – all items that provided her reassurance in one way or another.

From a practicality standpoint, the table was essential when it came to mealtime and small procedures by the nurses, such as blood draws. It was my mom’s kitchen table, nightstand, desk, craft table, and the nurses’ inanimate assistant.

I discovered a study that showed just how much of a high-touch object these tables are. The data noted in hospitals they ranked third, only behind bed linens and bed rails. Such an important component of a hospital experience ensures there are a variety of styles and models available. They fall into the categories of tilt top, non-tilt, auto-touch, and heavy-duty – a choice usually dictated by the environment in which they will be used, often care or senior facilities.

These multipurpose tables need to be durable, adjustable, mobile, safe, affordable, and attractive. The portion of the table that requires the most attention, and with the highest visibility, is the table top itself. Its role as a surface-of-all-trades means that it is exposed to elements of all kinds: food and beverages, medical equipment, personal items, along with germier items like used tissues and bandages. All and all, the surface HAS to stand up to frequent cleaning, sometimes with heavy-duty cleaners. The last thing any facility wants is added illness to already frail and compromised patients.

Stratis Industries is known for their high-quality, yet affordable surfaces. As a manufacturer of over the bed table tops, they understand the requirements asked of their product. They build their table tops to withstand continuous wear and tear, and include seamless edging for preventing dirt-catching, hard-to-clean crevices, and joints. The surfaces are low maintenance, have a high stain resistance, and won’t warp, crack, or split.

Stratis has also taken into consideration details that increase the usability of the table tops and prove helpful in differing scenarios. Besides their basic flat surface model, they have versions with raised edges, spill grooves, and cup recesses. They are happy to take on custom shapes and designs, as well.

As the table tops are so high profile, creating an attractive look can bring a little bit of home and/or normalcy to an unsettling experience. Stratis provides a variety of color options that can create a cheerful pop, modern streamlining, and even real wood looks for a hint of nature. No matter the style, they can all hold up to the highest levels of sanitation and won’t lose their good looks.

Aside from my own observations, I was curious as to my mom’s thoughts. As a patient, I doubted she had given it much reflection – which quite honestly is how seamlessly items such as over the bed tables and other room items in such environments should be. And I was correct. I asked her about the tables, and she paused to think about it for a moment. “If the hospital had just rolled in a meal cart for me at mealtime and then removed it again, I think my bed would have been filled with items that I wanted nearby, but they would have been tangled and missing within my bedding,” she commented. “That sounds unorganized, uncomfortable, and really, really irritating.” Yep, I could see her point.

Patients don’t choose to be in a medical setting, but if they are, they certainly want as much convenience and comfort as possible. Stratis can assist your company or facility with distinctive and durable over the bed table top options to help ease your patient’s stay. Contact them today with your surface needs!

By E.B. – Guest Blogger