Monday, March 09, 2009

How can bariatric equipment help your overweight patients feel more comfortable in the doctor’s office or medical clinic?

Having weight issues is a major physical risk as any medical professional knows. The part that is often overlooked is the psychological damage that goes along with this kind of health risk. Embarrassment is often a concern for the bariatric patient. By providing equipment, from scales to seating and exam tables that is suitable for these patients, you are allowing them to feel comfortable and literally and figuratively, supported. A patient is much more likely to engage in constructive conversation with their physician if they feel comfortable.
Even if the office sees patients of a normal weight and size, having bariatric equipment won’t make any difference. Most people appreciate having plenty of room in waiting room chairs and on exam tables. You can’t go wrong with adding these useful pieces of equipment to your office.
Where do you start making much needed changes with bariatric equipment?
The most logical place in your office to start making changes is either the waiting room or the exam room. In the waiting room, proper sized chairs can make huge difference in how patients of all sizes and needs feel. You may find that simply adding chairs without arms is sufficient for your office’s needs. However, specially made waiting room chairs are also incredibly useful as they are typically reinforced, with wider seats, and are ideal for patients of any size.
In the exam room, having the proper sized tables are crucial to the safety, not to mention comfort and confidence, of your bariatric patients. Scales designed for this demographic group are vitally important as well. If you are going to start with the exam room for your bariatric equipment makeover, it’s a good idea to include foot stools, with or without handles, to the room as well. Foot stools are great for relieving the pressure additional weight puts on the legs and feet even when in a sitting position.
What kinds of bariatric equipment are available for transporting patients inside the hospital or clinic or even in emergency vehicles? Every patient has the right to be comfortable and safe while being cared for in a medical setting even if it is on the road. Fortunately, there are plenty of types of bariatric equipment available to make this goal obtainable. Inside the clinic or hospital, bariatric wheelchairs are commonly used for taking patients to test sites or to physical therapy. With their wider seats and wheel base, the patient is assured for a safe and comfortable ride. The addition of wheelchair cushions is another way to help patients feel comfortable. Also inside the medical setting, the use of bariatric stretchers and tables is very useful.
For emergency transportation, the stretchers are again an important part of proper patient care. While obesity may complicate some of your patients’ health, less than adequate medical equipment certainly shouldn’t add to the problem. Proper bariatric equipment can make all the difference in the world.

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Blogger Julie Myers said...

I definitely think that when it comes to overweight patients, it is best to make sure that they are comfortable. Especially when it comes to making sure they aren't embarrassed, I think that all doctors should be sure that they can take proper care of the overweight patients. It sounds like having bariatric equipment is a really great way to accommodate them. My husband works at a doctor's office, and I think it would be really good to ask him if they have this kind of equipment there.

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