What Is a Swing Bed in a Hospital?

May 9, 2024 | Services | 0 comments

Most hospital visits address immediate needs, such as injuries or sudden illnesses. Most of these patients will go home within a few hours or days. But what if recovery takes longer? 

That’s where swing beds come in. More commonly referred to as “transitional care units,” these beds are a vital service in rural healthcare, creating a bridge of care between acute hospital treatment and at-home recovery periods. 

Learn more about how swing beds provide continued care after a hospital visit and who can benefit from the East Adams Rural Healthcare swing bed program. 

What Is a Swing Bed in a Hospital? Transitional Care

The name “swing bed” can be a little misleading because, despite its name, a swing bed refers to a type of treatment and not a hospital bed that swings around. 

Instead, a swing bed refers to a hospital room that can transition from providing acute care to skilled nursing services. For example, a patient recovering from an illness or surgery might initially need the intensive care offered by a hospital setting. As they get better, they may no longer require acute care but may not be well enough to go home yet. With a swing bed, they can stay in their same room, in the same bed, and “swing” from acute care to skilled nursing care instead. 

Skilled nursing care may include: 

  • Rehabilitation therapy 
  • Medication management 
  • Recovery support 
  • Wound care
  • Pain management
  • Feeding assistance 

Being able to stay in the same room and bed can make the recovery process less stressful for a patient. They get to stay in the environment they already know and often work with the same medical team. Swing beds make the recovery journey smoother and less disruptive. 

Who Can Use a Swing Bed in a Hospital?

Swing beds are designed for patients who no longer need acute care but aren’t ready to manage their care at home alone. It provides a transitional care space ideal for certain patients, including: 

Patients Recovering From Surgery 

Patients recovering from joint replacements, hip fractures, or other surgical procedures may need to undergo physical therapy and rehabilitation before they go home. A swing bed gives them direct access to their rehabilitation team and a safe, comfortable recovery environment. 

Individuals With Chronic Conditions

Conditions like heart failure, COPD, and diabetes may benefit from a swing bed and the medication management and therapeutic services available. Staying in a swing bed could help improve overall health and help the patient better manage their condition at home. 

Patients Who Need Wound Care 

Swing beds are excellent options for wound care patients, including dressing changes, infection monitoring, and treatment for pressure sores. By staying in the hospital, they benefit from ongoing skilled nursing care without making frequent and disruptive trips back to the hospital. 

To use a swing bed, you’ll need a doctor’s referral. The East Adams Rural Healthcare team works closely with physicians to determine whether it is the right option for your recovery journey

East Adams Rural Healthcare Offers Swing Beds

The East Adams Rural Healthcare team understands the importance of smoothly transitioning from the hospital to home. Sometimes, a swing bed is the right method to make that transition. A swing bed program provides a comfortable, familiar environment where you can get the care you need to regain your strength and independence so you can go home. 

Contact our team if you’d like to learn more about our transitional care program and how it could benefit you or a loved one. We’re happy to answer any questions and see if a swing bed is right for you.