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How to choose your medical exam table?

pedia pals exam table

   During the first installation as a general practitioner, you draw up a list of all the medical equipment to be purchased to equip your medical practice. The consultation table, also called the medical exam table or examination couch, is essential for the healthcare professional. Find out how to choose from the different models on the market.


Determine your needs and constraints

Ask yourself the right questions before choosing your exam table:


How much space is available in your exam room?

What maximum height?

How much weight should your consultation table be able to support?

Depending on your patient base and the space, which width should you choose?

Do you need to be able to install specific medical equipment like stirrups?

Do you need to be able to vary the height or the inclination? (Going from a horizontal position to a seated position for example)

Does the couch have to be equipped with an integrated roll holder for examination sheets?

Different types of medical examination couches

Fixed height examination couch

It is an inexpensive solution for young doctors during their first installation in medical practice. If you opt for this type of medical consultation table, be sure to choose a height that is suitable for your patient population. The height should also suit you to avoid back pain. For this, select a good medical stool with adjustable height. To facilitate access to your patients, you will also need to purchase a step stool.


Electric exam table

More robust than conventional exam tables, electric models can support loads of up to 300 kg for some couches. Equipped with an adjustable height and backrest, they facilitate the examination of the patient thanks to an electric foot or hand control.


An electric exam table has many options, including the possibility of attaching stirrups, leg rests, folding barriers, an IV rod, or even the possibility of having a "face hole" option to transform the couch into a massage table.


electric medical examination couch


Discover our electric exam table in the shop.


The electric 3-section exam table 

This type of modular medical exam table is particularly suitable for practitioners who perform both general medicine consultations and gynecological consultations. The central part can be raised to transform the table into a gynecology chair.



Choosing the right exam table


It is not enough to be a well-experienced doctor to be able to provide better patient care. Having quality medical equipment is also an absolute necessity. The consultation table is one of them. It is essential for carrying out various examinations. Thus, it must be chosen appropriately. However, there is a wide variety of examination couch. This makes a choice a bit tricky. The following information has been carefully selected to help you find the exam table that is right for you.


Defining your needs is essential!


Before you start looking for an examination couch, you need to define your real needs. To do this, it is essential to identify the most important criteria. Among other things, there is the maximum height of the consultation table and the maximum weight it can support. You also have to think about the operation of the equipment. What level of user comfort do you want?


Be aware that some sofas have adjustment options. It is therefore possible to adjust their height and inclination. Others are equipped with a roll holder and many accessories that allow the installation of various medical equipment such as stirrups. These tables offer huge advantages. Obviously, when buying an examination couch, you must also take into account all the constraints concerning the budget, the available space, and the typical profile of your patients.


Discover the different types of sofa and their characteristics


The fixed-height examination couch is the least expensive model of consultation table on the market. It is preferred for young doctors who have just opened a medical practice. However, it is far from practical. By opting for this examination couch, you must bet on the height that suits your patients. You must also think about your comfort because, by dint of bending all the time to examine a patient, you will have back pain. The solution is to use a medical stool with an adjustable height.


The electric exam table surpasses the classic model in terms of robustness and practicality. Its ability to support heavy loads is its major asset. Some sofas can support a weight of 300 kg. This type of sofa is also adjustable via an electric control. Thus, it allows you to carry out the examination of a patient with greater ease. In addition, it generally has a whole range of innovative features. Among other things, it can be equipped with leg rests, IV poles, or stirrups easily.


The electric 3-section examination couch is the most practical model available. It is suitable for all doctors, regardless of their specialty. It is a modular consultation table. It, therefore, embeds multiple options, which makes it multi-use. For example, it can be converted into a gynecology chair by raising only its central part.


Medical care: helping children be less afraid and hurt less

To reduce children's apprehension in the face of fearful medical care, it is useful to prepare for the visit to the doctor or hospital and to explain to children how it will take place with simple words: "We are going to see the doctor . He's going to ask you to… and maybe to… I'll be with you all the time”. Some doctors do it right away, but it is also possible to ask the doctor to explain what he is going to do (or to verbalize to him what he is going to do and why he has to do it) by adapting to the age and to the necessary degree of information: "The doctor needs to understand what gives you a fever, so he will listen to your heart and your lungs, look at your throat and your ears. The tool to listen to your heart might be a little cold / the doctor will ask you to open your mouth / that's called a tongue depressor and it's used to examine the inside of your mouth and your throat, and he will put it on your tongue. In this context, sentences turned in the affirmative mode generate less apprehension than sentences using negation (saying "it's true that it's a little scary when you don't know / it can hurt / you're right, it's a bit cold" rather than "don't be scared / but no, it doesn't hurt / it's not that cold", for example).



 Indeed, the confidence of a child with apprehension will be better than that of a surprised child who has been lied to (for example by saying that it does not hurt when it is likely to be painful or when 'there will be no sting when we know there will be a sting). We can say: “It may hurt, but I will stay with you”.


It is essential to have as calm an attitude as possible towards the consultation. If, for example, bites are synonymous with anxiety for one of the parents, it may be better to hand them over to the other parent.



If a painful treatment is planned, we can plan a little game that the child likes to create a diversion. It is possible to use playful turns: “The doctor will say hello to your ear, to your heart, to your teeth” (some doctors systematically use this type of approach with children, others do not). Similarly, toys and cuddly toys can be mediators for carrying out an examination or preparing for it: “So, is your cuddly toy sick? Come on, let's look at his ears? And your ears, are they sick? ".


For the youngest, breastfeeding has soothing virtues Some health professionals also suggest that nursing mothers breastfeed the child during an injection or a blood test, for example. In addition, faced with a frightened or reluctant child, it is possible to adapt the examination conditions according to the possibilities: on the parents' knees, in the office part and not on the exam table, do not undress the child completely from the outset.


Medical acts should never represent a threat or a punishment: a child threatened with an injection when you want to scare him into obeying risks developing a phobia of acts of care (this is also valid for any other type of threat: children who hear adults threatening to call the police or say that the gendarmes will come to get them will associate the police with danger rather than protection).


Emotional expression, as always, is paramount. Leaving room for the expression of emotions without denying their intensity will help the child to overcome his apprehensions: “You look sad/scared, I understand that it may seem difficult to you, I am here to help you”. Thus, crying should not be considered a consultation failure. Tears are simply welcome, as a normal emotion in the face of a situation that can be stressful for a child, especially a small one.


 


Consent and the physical integrity of children during the health care

Respect for the physical integrity and consent of the child has its place in health care. This means that no action should be taken without having informed and warned the child, even a small one, or asked for his authorization (“I am going to examine your belly, do you agree?”).


As parents, we have the right to refuse a gesture when it seems inappropriate: we are the guarantors of the physical integrity of our children. For example, it is not necessary to completely undress a child to weigh him: a child can be weighed in his underwear, or even dressed, shoes removed.


Awareness of the "ownership" of his body by the child, including in a medical context, will become the basis of his relationship with health professionals. By offering him the possibility of being listened to, and respected, you allow your child to gain confidence in him, in his judgment, and in his value, and he will thus certainly be more active in his health in adulthood.- Marion McGuinness


In addition, some gestures that are still widespread have no medical reason, such as the capping of little boys.


Similarly, the presence of the parents with the children during an examination or medical procedure (such as a blood test) cannot be refused, unless there are specific health constraints (eg: a sterile room). Some health professionals may be afraid that the parents will not support an act performed on the child or that their presence will embarrass them. However, a child needs his parents, especially in a stressful situation, and their presence has a positive impact on the course of the act and his healing.


To go further: the site sparadrap.org (association to help children be less afraid and less hurt during treatment and in hospital)


Preventing the Transmission of Infections in a Hospital Setting: Take Charge


Germs, such as viruses and bacteria, cause infections. Children have a large number of infections, most of which are contagious, such as colds and diarrhea. In the hospital, preventive measures must be taken to limit the transmission of infection from person to person.


Who is at risk of acquiring an infection?


Young children catch and transmit infections more easily because they explore their environment by placing objects or their fingers in their mouths. Parents or hospital staff assisting the infected child are at risk of acquiring an infection and are therefore at risk of transmitting it to others.


How are his infections acquired…


The microbes that cause contagious infections are present in the secretions (mucus, saliva) or excretions (vomit, stool) of infected people. The majority of infections are acquired by touching the skin or other objects contaminated with these excretions and then bringing the hands to the mouth, nose or eyes.

 

A word about hand washing…


Hand washing: Removes germs from the hands by the mechanical action of soap and water.


Most germs are transmitted by our hands. Infected people touch their nose or mouth, and then touch other people or objects in their environment. Washing your hands is the most important, simplest, and least expensive measure to reduce the transmission of infections. Alcoholic hand rinses are also effective.


How can I prevent the risk of infection for others and myself...


Wash your hands after wiping your child's nose, assisting your child in the bathroom, or changing a diaper. Another way of prevention would be to prevent the infected child from touching another child or touching toys or other objects used by other children.


People with colds should wash their hands after blowing their nose or coughing into a tissue. Children old enough to understand should be taught not to put their fingers in their nose, eyes, or mouth. They should not put shared objects in their mouths. Children should be encouraged to wipe their noses with tissue paper instead of using their hands, throw the tissue paper in the trash and then wash their hands.


Remember, viruses that cause colds and other infections can survive for hours on tissues and the surfaces of objects, such as toys, doorknobs, sink faucets, phones, etc. Wash surfaces that are used the most, such as sink faucets or shared objects such as toys, because they may be contaminated with viruses or other germs. It is important to wash your hands before touching your child's mouth, nose, and eyes (for example, before eating or feeding your child) and to encourage your child to do the same.


What preventive measures are taken...


Remember, in a hospital environment, germs can be present anywhere. To protect yourself and your child and to prevent the transmission of infections, wash your hands or the hands of your children when necessary. Similarly, hospital staff should wash their hands or use hand rub before and after contact with a patient or with objects that have been in contact with patients. Items that are shared with other patients should be washed or wiped down with an antiseptic before reuse. Antiseptic is available in most care departments.

 In addition, hospital staff could put on gloves, gowns, masks, or goggles while caring for children. These preventive measures are taken to reduce the transmission of infections from child to staff or from staff to child.