The exam table has come a long way since it was first created. In Medieval Europe, physicians would see patients on a wooden table, often which doubled as a dining table. They were uncomfortable and hard to move, so patients were given little privacy. The wood was very absorbent and so there was no way to sterilize the facility, so the spread of bacteria was common.
Fast forward a few hundred years and there have been many advancements in the exam table, including a more comfortable and portable unit.
In the early 20th century, war caused more injuries and hence more patients. Doctors needed something that was mobile so that they could move the patients around as necessary. They also needed a table that could easily be wiped down. The stainless steel table quickly became an answer to many war hospitals because it was lightweight and could be sanitized very easily.
Since the war times, the construction of the exam table continues to evolve as many kinds of medical professions prefer different materials. Surgeons still like the steel while chiropractic prefers wooden tables. Other general practitioners may prefer a hard plastic setting.
As hospitals grew in size, the need to wheel patients from various exam rooms became a necessity. Now, many tables have casters on them so they can roll a patient as necessary to get them to heavier equipment that isn’t as mobile and also for patient privacy.
Luckily for the medical industry, things have improved significantly over the years. There are various designs now so that the table can meet the needs of the practice. They can be used for various reasons and the table continues to evolve as technology does, too. The comfort, too, improves with tables that warm, and pads that can come in colors to match the décor of the medical facility.
Different tables exist for different medical field and they continue to get fancier, adding more and more comfort to the patients. An exam table doesn’t have to be just a table for the patient to lie down on. In fact, some fields choose to use an exam chair now that work similar to a recliner for ultimate comfort to the patient.
The wooden table is not obsolete but it has been changed significantly. It is much lighter weight and there is a gloss on the wood that allows them to be sanitized. There are pads designed to go on them so that there’s no splinters to worry about. These are lower-budget than some of the higher-end tables but have a history that continues to evolve as the wood used continue to change.
Today, the medical profession can benefit from many technological advances. There are many surgical and operating tables that have power lifts so that they can be adjusted for the purpose desired. There are also ones with lights and even ones that will heat the apparatus where the patient lies to allow them a higher level of comfort.