Why does a patient have to use a bedpan?

Patients need to use bedpans when their illness prevents them from safely getting out of bed. A bedpan is used in place of the toilet.

Are there different kinds of bedpans?

Yes, there are plastic and metal bedpans. Also, there are smaller bedpans, called fracture or orthopedic bedpans, for those patients who have difficulty using regular bedpans.

Can something be done so that a patient does not have to use a bedpan?

Unless it is safe for a patient to get out of bed, the bedpan is the best option for bowel/bladder elimination. The nurses know how uncomfortable this may be for some patients. Ask the nurses when the patient can expect to start using the bathroom instead of the bedpan.

Typical bedpan