Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Hospital Corner

Sheet scraper back saver.
 
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The two nurses quietly approached the bed. Taking up their positions on either side, the senior of the two unfolded a crisp white linen sheet, and passed one edge across the bed to her colleague. Satisfied that the sheet was aligned properly, they dropped it onto the bed, smoothing out the creases. The senior nurse reached towards the control panel.
”Clear” she commanded, pushed the button, and stepped smartly back.

The junior nurse watched in awe as the mattress seemed to raise itself off the bed. Slender hooped rails the length of the base unfolded from the sides of the bed and lifted the flapping sheet level to the top of the mattress. From either end a hoop slightly wider than the width of the mattress extended downwards and scooped the ends of the sheet under the mattress in one swift movement.

The two side rails gently let down the sides of the sheet, split in the middle, moved downwards and outwards, and then joined together again, catching the sheet in a loose bear hug and scooping the edges of the hanging portion into guides that formed 45° angled folds extending from the corners of the mattress downwards. The rails whipped in under the mattress, pulling the sheet taut. The mattress was lowered back onto the base of the bed.

Perfect hospital corners accomplished seamlessly in a smooth ballet of technology.

egbert, Jul 18 2003

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       <junior nurse to senior nurse> Did you hear a kind of muffled cry for help just now? <the nurses look at each other and shake their heads, then move on to the next bed>
Canuck, Jul 18 2003
  

       Have you ever tried to sleep in a bed with hospital corners? Give me a duvet any day.   

       + for making nurses' lives easier though, even if hospital corners are a ludicrous and archaic throwback to more regimented times.
saker, Jul 18 2003
  

       bliss, that would just give them more time to stick needles into each other - and to dream up the most colorful language in which to regale the family at dinnertime with stories of the day's goriest moments.
beauxeault, Jul 18 2003
  

       Ah, [beauxeault], you know and love a nurse, I think...
k_sra, Jul 18 2003
  

       I am sure I once saw a story on a device for making hospital corners, but I do not recall if it involved lifting the mattress for you.
DrCurry, Jul 18 2003
  

       They'll send the male nurse for that, [Mr Burns].
saker, Jul 18 2003
  

       he's not fussy.
po, Jul 18 2003
  

       I had big sheet-manipulating machines on the brain and read blissmiss's note as 'lamenating the missing beaux.'
RayfordSteele, Jul 18 2003
  

       Having contemplated with a mixture of horror and fascination the sort of sheet-feeder cassette that such a system would use, and havjing considered the merits of sleeping in a bed that was half sleeping area and the other half DeskJet Printer mechanism, I have resolved never to enter a hospital again during my stay on this planet.
8th of 7, Jul 18 2003
  

       8th! You're back! Good to see you mate. How's the lumbago?   

       The mechanism is housed entirely within the base of the bed. As one so perspicacious will no doubt be aware, there is already a substantial amount of mechanical gubbins housed within the framework of a hospital bed. A few more lightweight rails, cams and stepper motors, or possibly another hydraulic ram or two, won't make too much difference. The main drawback I can see is that of male medical students adapting the mechanism to do naughty things to nurses' skirts. Possibly by remote control during a bedwash...
egbert, Jul 19 2003
  

       Didn’t Copperfield do this?.. On second thought I couldn’t actually see what was going on beneath the sheets. Croissant.   

       beauxeault, I sympathize. - Must someone always ask a nurse “so how was your day?”... at dinnertime?
Shz, Jul 19 2003
  
      
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