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What are the Different Types of Hospital Equipment?

Hospital equipment ranges from simple tools to complex devices.
A scalpel is a common surgical instrument.
Most hospitals have surgical units with equipment to perform safe operations.
Article Details
  • Written By: Jessica Ellis
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 05 April 2014
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Hospitals are medical institutions with the goal of diagnosing, treating, and caring for patients with a wide variety of ailments and injuries. Because of this, it is necessary to have a broad range of equipment to be able to help more patients with greater speed and efficiency. There are many different types of hospital equipment, from simple and basic supplies to highly technical and sophisticated machines.

Diagnostic hospital equipment is extremely important to the day-to-day job of a hospital. Understanding what is causing an illness, determining the severity of injuries, or ruling out possible problems and conditions is all accomplished with diagnostic tools. Hospital equipment used for diagnosis includes scanning devices such as x-ray machines, Computed Axial Tomography, or CAT scanners, and Magnetic Resonance Imaging or MRIs. Basic diagnostic hospital equipment includes simple tools such as stethoscopes, blood pressure reading devices, and thermometers.

Most hospitals feature a surgical unit that is dedicated to performing surgical treatments to cure or improve the lives of patients. Most surgeries are performed using cutting devices such as scalpels, scissors, or even focused lasers. While these devices may look scary, they are designed with the goal of minimizing pain and ensuring accuracy and safety. Another important type of surgical equipment is sterilization tools. These tools are meant to clean equipment, and are crucial in preserving both patient and doctor safety by preventing infection and accidental exposure.

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Since hospitals must care for patients during and after many medical procedures, a lot of hospital equipment is devoted to patient comfort and monitoring. Monitoring equipment may include heart rate or pulse monitors, and is used to keep a close eye on the patient's condition. Patient comfort is accommodated by the use of adjustable beds, bedpans, privacy curtains, and even accessories such as televisions and radios. Keeping patients calm and comfortable is more likely to result in fast recoveries and positive attitudes, so it is in the best interest of the hospital to pay attention to the needs of their patients.

Some hospital equipment is also used to provide treatment. Intravenous bags can be used to give patients needed fluids or deliver medication throughout the body. If a hospital features a cancer-treatment facility, treatment equipment may include radiation and chemotherapy machines. Providing treatment is a major goal of most hospitals, so there often great need to ensure that equipment is well-maintained and uses the latest and most effective technology available.

Hospital equipment is a major portion of what makes a hospital different than a clinic or doctor's office. By providing patients with the best available equipment, hospitals can help a broad range of patients with widely different needs. Since medical technology evolves rapidly, new and more advanced equipment is in high demand and often will only go to the best-funded hospitals at first. Doing research into a hospital's available equipment and reputation with certain procedures or conditions is a smart way to ensure that a patient receives the best possible treatment.

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