What Are the Different Types of Hospital Furniture?

Patti Kate

Hospital furniture includes things like medication carts, tables and chairs. This type of furniture includes items in private and public hospital rooms, emergency rooms, waiting rooms and private areas for staff. The type of hospital furniture in a room is typically determined by the use of the room, and is made to be functional for both the patient and the physician.

Hospital beds are perhaps the most common type of hospital furniture.
Hospital beds are perhaps the most common type of hospital furniture.

A common type of furniture designed for a hospital room is an adjustable hospital bed. Overbed tables are often placed over the side of the bed, and are often used for dining. Nearly all hospital furniture in a patient room will include a bedside stand with storage compartments for holding medication and supplies. Many maternity patient rooms are furnished with baby cribs allowing mother and newborn to stay together.

Emergency rooms often contain examination tables.
Emergency rooms often contain examination tables.

Not all hospital furniture is designed for patient rooms. Seating for a hospital waiting room typically consists of couches and chairs. Some waiting rooms are furnished with metal folding chairs, although wood chairs with padded seats are more commonly used. In addition, it's common to find wood shelves or tables for holding magazines and other reading material.

Privacy screen dividers are often found in hospital emergency rooms.
Privacy screen dividers are often found in hospital emergency rooms.

Hospital furniture for patient rooms and emergency rooms may also include privacy screen dividers. As the name suggests, a privacy screen allows discretion and privacy for patients. The screen is typically set on a metal frame. Cloth panels are also used for privacy screens.

The hospital room stretcher is used to transport ill and injured patients. This type of hospital furniture is sometimes referred to as a trolley and is made with guardrails for safety. The padded leather surface typically locks into several reclining positions. The frame of most hospital trolleys and stretchers may be constructed of powder coated metal, with castor wheels for mobility.

Hospital emergency rooms almost always have an examination table. This piece of furniture is provided for patients to sit or lie while being examined. A medical examining table will often have a leg extension for comfort. Some examination tables are made with a plastic or metal debris tray. The typical height of an examination table is approximately 34 inches (86.4 centimeters), while the length often extends to about 70 inches (177.8 centimeters).

The anesthesia cart is an essential type of furniture used in most operating rooms. This type of cart may have anywhere from three to six drawers to hold anesthesia supplies and narcotics. The anesthesia cart typically has locking swivel casters.

Most hospitals have a staff lounge, which is a large room for hospital employees to relax and take their breaks in. Hospital break rooms are typically furnished with storage cabinets for storing valuables and other belongings. Hospital furniture such as metal lockers are typically assigned to employees.

Waiting room furniture is typically functional, not comfortable.
Waiting room furniture is typically functional, not comfortable.

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Discussion Comments


I have decided most hospital furniture for waiting rooms is designed to be as totally uncomfortable as possible. The only exception is the OB floor. Apparently, expectant parents and grandparents deserve extra comfort, while those sitting what amounts to a death watch in the ICU waiting rooms find that sitting on a cushion on the floor is preferable to any of the available furniture. Lord knows I've been there.

Most people don't want to spend any more time than necessary in a hospital, so it seems to me furniture could be more comfortable. As an odd contrast, the sofas and chairs in funeral home parlors are usually comfortable enough to sleep on. Go figure.

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