Bed Safety Checklist

A majority of institutional falls occur in the patient’s room; up to half of all falls take place from, or near, the patient’s bed. This checklist helps nurses and CNAs support safe patient mobility and avoid falls.
Recommendations Rationale
Maintain bed at appropriate height Bed height is appropriate when the patient's knees are at 90 degrees and the feet touch the floor. This height supports the patient's mobility to exit a bed safely.

If bed height is raised for nursing care, return the bed to a low position when care is completed.
Ensure bed brakes are on at all times Prevents the bed from rolling away during bed transfers.
Always leave nurse call bell within reach when patient is in bed. The patient should be able to operate the call bell and use it appropriately. Demonstrate the use of the call bell to patient and ask patient for a return demonstration.

Consider the use of a fall alarm in any patient who is at fall risk and is unable to use the call bell.
Ensure that frequently used items are left within reach of the patient. Reaching for items that are out of reach may cause the patient to lose their balance.
Place anti-slip strips on floor where the patient exits the bed. Protects patient from slipping on any spilled food and water, etc.
Position over-bed table on the non exit side of bed. Discourages patient from using the over bed table, which can easily roll away, as a handhold when trying to exit from bed.
If in use, place the bedside commode next to bed, on the exit side.

If in use, position canes/walkers next to bed, on the exit side.
Placing the commode on the exit side makes access easier for the patient.

Placing the cane/walker on the exit side makes access easier for the resident/patient.
Keep the bedroom night light illuminated at all times. Provides greater visibility when natural light is low.
Use height adjustable low beds to support safe transfers/prevent injurious falls. A height adjustable low bed (range from 6 to 32 inches in height) provides proper bed height for safe transfers in small height patients and kept in the low position helps prevent injurious falls (should a fall occur, distance of falling will be less).

Consider the use of a fall alarm (to detect rollouts from bed)/floor mat (to avoid rolling on floor) in conjunction with bed in low position.

Tideiksaar, R. Falls in Older People: Prevention and Management. 4th Edition.
Health Professions Press, Baltimore, MD 2010

Ready to begin?

Go to the student dashboard.

Not sure what courses you need?

Browse our course catalog!