Exam tables help patients lie down during medical examinations, tests, and procedures. They can also be used for physical therapy and other rehabilitation treatments.
Studies show that patients with mobility impairments need less assistance from their support system when using height-adjustable exam tables versus fixed-height ones. They experience less perceived exertion and feel safer too.
A medical exam table should be sturdy enough to support a patient’s weight during a physical examination or treatment. Look for a metal model that is built with a strong frame, and features reinforced joints to prevent any potential breakdowns.
Medical examination tables have different designs to support the types of treatments and exams performed in a practice. For example, treatment tables are the simplest type of doctor’s exam table and feature a non-reclining padded surface covered in healthcare-grade vinyl. These tables may also have a storage shelf underneath the seating area. These basic types of medical tables are a good fit for physiotherapy clinics that perform treatments such as massage and chiropractic sessions.
Box tables are a more versatile type of medical exam table that feature add-ons to enhance their utility for various physical therapy practices. For instance, some physical therapy and chiropractic practices prefer a box exam table’s flat design and thin padding. These tables also offer several positions that help practitioners access patients more easily for treatment, such as a low backrest.
Other physical therapy and chiropractic exam tables are designed to accommodate patients with limited mobility. These ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant models have electric lifts that help patients easily stand up from the table. This minimizes the energy, exertion, and time needed to get a patient onto an exam table, ultimately reducing strain on both the practitioner and the patient.
In addition to lifting capabilities, a medical exam table should have ample storage space to hold common supplies used during a treatment session. Specifically, physical therapy clinics need storage compartments that can hold things like exam gloves, bandages, charts, and folders. These small storage spaces can also be ideal for keeping a variety of physical therapy tools, such as massage tools, kinesiology tapes, ointments, and towels.
Most exam tables have adjustable heights to ensure patients are comfortable. However, not all tables have power adjustment options. Check for one that offers this feature because it will allow the physician to control the height of the table with a simple switch and minimize the amount of effort, stress, and strain required by the patient and practitioner to raise or lower the table.
Exam tables are essential for physical therapy because they give practitioners a solid platform from which to perform massages, exercises, and other treatments. They can also be used to perform general examinations on patients. Exam table features vary, but some of the most important ones include adjustable height, comfortable padding, and storage compartments.
Depending on the type of care provided in your facility, you’ll need to select the medical exam table design that best suits your clinic. Consider things like whether you’ll be working with bariatric patients, young pediatrics, or seniors who require a higher-than-normal seat height. Also, consider if your patients will need special accessories like stirrups, headrests, or armrests or if you’ll be using equipment that requires extra electrical outlets.
Medical treatment tables are the simplest form of exam table, typically padded for comfort and upholstered in healthcare-grade vinyl that’s easy to clean. Some models feature shelves or storage drawers underneath the seated area that help clinicians keep supplies like kinesiology tape, bandages, and towels nearby. Other medical exam tables transform into chairs, are equipped with heads-ups, and have a variety of other features designed to make patients feel more at ease and provide optimal positioning for exams and procedures.
If you have elderly or disabled patients who might struggle to climb onto a traditional box table, you can add an electric lift that rises up to meet your patients. These medical exam tables are often ADA-compliant, which can lead to tax credits for your healthcare practice if you consult with your tax advisors about the details.
Other medical exam table designs include C-arm tables used in gynecological practices and radiology/imaging tables with drop windows for X-ray imaging. There are also portable treatment tables that are great for delivering care to clients in their homes. These mobile units can fold up and be moved from room to room without requiring a lot of time or effort. Some even come with a carrying case for easy transport. These mobile tables can be used in a wide range of therapeutic settings and are highly durable, making them well worth the investment for your facility.
A few different types of exam tables for physical therapy are commonly found in healthcare facilities. These include treatment, box, procedure, and specialty tables. A basic treatment table features a non-reclining padded seat that’s usually covered in healthcare-grade vinyl. Treatment tables may also have a storage shelf or drawer underneath the seating area.
Whether you’re buying a manual or powered exam table, make sure it offers a variety of adjustments to position your patient in the most comfortable possible positions for treatment. Using an adjustable backrest and footrest will help prevent your patients from becoming agitated during lengthy treatments.
It’s also important to consider your patient’s size when choosing a treatment table. A properly designed bariatric exam table, like the UMF Medical 5005, will accommodate patients that weigh up to 500 pounds — making it easy for patients with obesity or other health issues to move around your facility.
During a physical therapy session, your patients may need to stand or transfer between a sitting or standing position on the examination table. Look for tables that offer a step to assist patients as they climb onto the table. This feature can be especially helpful for elderly or disabled patients.
Power exam tables come equipped with a power backrest that’s operated via touch controls to minimize the caregiver’s physical interaction with the patient. This can reduce the risk of musculoskeletal injury and help your staff stay on schedule during busy periods of time.
A safety switch is another important feature to look for on your treatment table. This feature prevents your table from moving when an object is blocking the sensor. This helps protect your staff from injuries and prevents the table from crushing items it’s supposed to move over.
Investing in a hi-lo treatment table will ensure your patients have an exceptional experience during their physical therapy sessions. With a wide range of upholstery, frame, and dimension options available, you’ll be able to find the ideal solution for your practice. When you’re ready to purchase an exam table for physical therapy, contact CME today to learn more about our product offerings and to request a quote.