Medical stools are widely used in just about every medical setting by both physicians and assistants. In fact, it is perhaps the single most utilized piece of office furniture in hospitals, clinics, operating rooms, emergency rooms, and waiting rooms. These stools allow for quick and easy movement from one point to another which is often needed when seeing patients or during procedures. They are designed to be durable, mobile, easy to use, and perhaps most importantly, simple. Medical stools differ from traditional office chairs or drafting chairs and are constructed specifically for the medical professionals as they are less confining and allow for a large range of motion. Before purchasing one of these stools there are a few features to look for in order to make sure that the stool will fit in to your office environment including adjustability, upholstery, wheels, height, and design.
The level of adjustability needed will vary based on the individual and how often the stool will be used. Most medical stools come with simple seat height adjustment allowing users of varying heights to utilize the same stool. The seat height adjustment is usually a lever located directly underneath the seat that allow for the stool to be adjusted up and down with a hydraulic lift. Every stool will also come with the ability to rotate 360°, making it easy to grab tools and supplies needed to work on patients. For professions such as dentistry that require longer amounts of time spent seated, it is best to find a stool that has more adjustments such as seat angle adjustment to stay comfortable throughout the work day.
Most medical stools will be upholstered in anti-microbial/anti-bacterial vinyl upholstery as this is the easiest to clean and protect against spills and stains. Vinyl is also more durable than its fabric counterpart, allowing for more wear and tear and abuse that can occur in the medical field.
While the type of wheels that come with stools is an often overlooked detail, it is certainly an important component that should be taken into consideration. Most medical stools come with hard casters designed for use on carpets, however in most cases these stools are used on linoleum or tile floors. If this is the case, it is recommended to have soft casters designed for hard floors in order to preserve the life of your floor and avoid scratches or streaks. For those that do not want to move around and would prefer to stay in place, glides or locking casters are the best solution. Glides are rubber pegs that are inserted into the stool’s base in place of wheels that keeps your stool in place unless picked up and moved. Locking casters allow the user to lock the casters/wheels in place when they prefer to remain stationary yet also allow the user to unlock them when movement is needed.
Having a stool that has the proper range of height adjustability is essential to both your work and the usability of the chair. A stool that is too low will ultimately lead to aches and pains experienced from working in an unnatural position and a stool that is too high will make it difficult to work and sit comfortably throughout the day. It is crucial to know the height of the seat on a stool prior to making a purchase to ensure that it will meet your height requirements. If purchasing through an online office furniture retailer, this information is readily available under product specifications or dimensions. If purchasing through a retail store, be certain to measure the stool at both the highest and lowest point.
The design of the stool is also an important component of any purchase as having aesthetically pleasing furniture in your office will create a more inviting environment and will enhance the appearance of your office. Typically, medical offices are associated with the feeling of fear and anxiety, so any simple modification that can deter this is advisable. A chrome base is always an attention grabber and makes it appear to be more expensive. If your office allows for it, a unique colored vinyl is always an easy way to turn heads. If your office is more traditional, a plain black vinyl always presents a professional appearance. Patterned fabrics are also appealing, however, they are not as easy to clean as vinyl.
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