Healthcare facilities, hospitals, and physician offices require exam chairs to help support their patients during a medical examination. This particular piece of furniture is needed for some specific tests and treatments. Aside from supporting the patients, the appropriate examination table must also be able to make them quite comfortable during an exam, testing, and therapy. Furthermore, it also should be fully functional and easy for a caregiver to use. The ideal exam chair should be easy to control its height, seat inclination, backrest, footrest, and perhaps even have a Trendelenburg tilt. Its ability to be adjusted easily will work well for the client’s comfortability during an exam or therapy. At the same time, also the medical office space available should enable the practitioner to access the necessary vantage points he or she might need during the examination. (Image Credit: Daniel Frank/Pexels)
Choosing the Perfect Exam Chairs for a Healthcare Clinic
Whether you are planning to get a simple wooden table with just minimal padding to use for your clinical practice or go for topnotch exam chairs with functional motorized parts, it is imperative to know first what you are looking for in an exam chair. Veer away from spending too much on the most expensive exam chair model available if there is a more economical model that will suffice to be used for your clinic. Look out for specific features that will help deliver care and provide comfort for patients. Some key factors are discussed below and should be taken into consideration before purchasing an exam chair.
Padding and Support
When comparing medical exam chairs or tables, the first ones to be considered should be the build quality and the materials that are used in making this piece of furniture. Both wooden and metal exam chairs and tables are sturdy. A wooden exam chair or table provides a classic look that can blend well with just about any décor, and they are more cost-efficient. On the other hand, a metal exam chair looks more rugged and is most suitable for healthcare clinics that see a lot of patients in a day. The movable metal parts of a metal exam chair are also more durable and sturdier than the wooden ones.
When looking for metal examination chairs, you should take into consideration to get a unit that has a rust-resistant steel or aluminum frame. Both steel and aluminum are quite sturdy and rust-resistant. However, the aluminum-framed exam chairs are lighter – a significant factor that should be considered when purchasing exam chairs.
Aside from the exam chair’s framing, consider also the padded surfaces. Choose a piece of equipment with ample padding to support a patient’s whole body. The standard two inched foam can already provide appropriate support for most patients.
Furthermore, make sure that the exam chairs are made out of a durable upholstery. Vinyl is the most common material used in making an exam chair. This type of material is non-porous and has a spill-proof surface to enable easy cleaning. As much as possible, get an exam chair that is covered with vinyl upholstery that is medical-grade because this type of material has an anti-microbial coating that helps in preventing the spread of many common germs and bacteria in healthcare facilities.
Healthcare practitioners need to adjust the position of an exam chair during medical exams, treatments, or tests. The ability for them to adjust it will allow them to take a closer look, and at the same time, make the patients more comfortable during a medical procedure.
A must-have feature for exam chairs is to have an adjustable backrest. This would allow a caregiver to lower and raise patients between sitting and reclining positions. Look for exam chairs that will enable adjustments to in as many as possible positions. An exam chair with an adjustable footrest is another essential feature because some specific medical procedures require it. Some exam chairs also have adjustable armrests. This keeps patients feel comfortable when a medical procedure will take a long time.
In general, exam chairs are relatively heavy, but some are easier to move around than others. A portable exam chair will come in handy when rearranging a clinic or if you are going to change office locations. One with wheels is also easier to move around or relocate. Most of the portable exam chairs have aluminum or titanium frames. There are also lightweight models available that can be partly folded to make them easier to tuck away. This is a needed feature when you are getting a spare exam chair for a healthcare clinic that would only be used during busy days.
There are specialized exam chairs that are appropriate choices for clinics that provide specialized care. For instance, the exam chairs that are commonly used in gynecology offices should have stirrups. Practices, though, that treat different conditions or see different types of patients must have an adaptable exam chair. Consider purchasing one that would be easier to customize for multiple purposes and specialties rather than getting different exam chairs for each specialization. Consider getting one that has support accessories like medical examination lamps or built-in scales.
You could save much more time during a medical procedure if all the need supplies are already stored in an exam chair’s storage compartment. You can keep exam tools, bandages, exam gowns, gloves, charts, and folders in the storage box.
There are various types of built-in storage units in medical exam chairs. These can vary from an open shelf or a pull-out drawer and cabinets. Look for a model with a storage compartment that can be locked if you will store medicines or any expensive or fragile medical tools.
Just like with any other piece of medical furniture, exam chairs also have different weight capacities. Choose an exam chair that is sturdy enough to accommodate different kinds of patients. A standard exam chair can support up to 200 kg. A pediatric exam chair has a lower weight capacity since it is intended to be used for children. There are also medical exam chairs that can carry up to 400 kg and is designed for clinics that regularly see overweight patients.