Bed Number Ten
Goodreads ratings
4.05 / 5

"Bed Number Ten" Characters Analysis

By Sue Baier

nursing | 304 pages | Published in NaN

A patient's personal view of long term care.Seen through the eyes of a patient totally paralyzed with Guillain-Barr� syndrome, this moving book takes you through the psychological and physical pain of an eleven month hospital stay. BED NUMBER TEN reads like a compelling novel, but is entirely factual.You will meet:The ICU staff who learned to communicate with the paralyzed woman - and those who did not bother.The physicians whose visits left her baffled about her own case.The staff and physicians who spoke to her and others who did not recognize her presence.The nurse who tucked Sue tightly under the covers, unaware that she was soaking with perspiration.The nurse who took the time to feed her drop by drop, as she slowly learned how to swallow again.The physical therapist who could read her eyes and spurred her on to move again as if the battle were his own.In these pages, which reveal the caring, the heroism, and the insensitivity sometimes found in the health care fields, you may even meet people you know.


Estimated read time: 8 min read

Table of Contents

  1. List of Characters

List of Characters

Character NameRole
Sue BaierProtagonist, Author
Dr. ThompsonDoctor
Nurse SandyNurse
Nurse NancyNurse
Mr. BaierSue's husband
Family MembersSupporting Characters

Role Identification

In "Bed Number Ten" by Sue Baier, the protagonist Sue Baier narrates her personal journey as a patient in a hospital bed due to a severe spinal cord injury. The story revolves around her experiences and interactions with medical staff, particularly Dr. Thompson, Nurse Sandy, and Nurse Nancy. Sue's husband, Mr. Baier, and other family members also play a significant role in the narrative.

Character Descriptions

Sue Baier

Sue Baier, the protagonist and author of "Bed Number Ten," is a middle-aged woman who finds herself paralyzed from the neck down after a sudden spinal cord injury. As a patient bedridden in a hospital, she shares her thoughts, emotions, and struggles through her writing. Sue's determination and resilience shine through her narrative as she navigates the challenges of her condition.

Dr. Thompson

Dr. Thompson is Sue Baier's primary doctor in the hospital. He is described as a knowledgeable and experienced physician who provides medical care and guidance to Sue throughout her hospital stay. Dr. Thompson's interactions with Sue offer insight into the medical aspects of her condition and the treatment options available to her.

Nurse Sandy

Nurse Sandy is one of Sue Baier's primary caregivers. She is described as a compassionate and attentive nurse who goes above and beyond to provide physical and emotional support to Sue. Sandy's presence and care help Sue cope with the difficulties of her paralysis, and she becomes an integral part of Sue's journey towards recovery.

Nurse Nancy

Nurse Nancy is another nurse taking care of Sue Baier during her hospitalization. While her role is not as prominently portrayed as Nurse Sandy, she contributes to Sue's care and offers additional perspectives on her condition and progress. Nancy's interactions showcase the dedication and teamwork of the nursing staff in providing holistic care to patients.

Mr. Baier

Mr. Baier, Sue's husband, plays a crucial role in the story. He is portrayed as a loving and supportive partner who stands by Sue's side throughout her hospitalization. Mr. Baier's unwavering presence and commitment to Sue's well-being provide her with emotional strength and motivation to overcome the challenges she faces.

Family Members

Throughout "Bed Number Ten," Sue Baier's extended family members make appearances, providing emotional support and encouragement during her difficult journey. Their love and care contribute to Sue's resilience as she navigates the emotional and physical hurdles of her condition.

Character Traits

Sue Baier

  • Determined
  • Resilient
  • Reflective
  • Observant
  • Brave

Dr. Thompson

  • Knowledgeable
  • Experienced
  • Professional
  • Caring
  • Communicative

Nurse Sandy

  • Compassionate
  • Attentive
  • Supportive
  • Empathetic
  • Skilled

Nurse Nancy

  • Diligent
  • Knowledgeable
  • Cooperative
  • Communicative
  • Team player

Mr. Baier

  • Loving
  • Supportive
  • Devoted
  • Patient
  • Encouraging

Character Background

Sue Baier

Sue Baier's background is primarily explored through her narration in "Bed Number Ten." Before her hospitalization, she led an active and fulfilling life as a wife, mother, and professional. As a result of her spinal cord injury, Sue's life takes an unexpected turn, leaving her bedridden and dependent on medical care. Her background as a strong and independent woman becomes an essential foundation for her journey towards acceptance and recovery.

Dr. Thompson

While "Bed Number Ten" does not delve deeply into Dr. Thompson's personal background, his professional background as a physician is evident through his extensive medical knowledge and expertise. He is portrayed as a respected doctor who is well-versed in treating complex medical conditions.

Nurse Sandy

Nurse Sandy's background is not extensively explored in the book. However, her experience as a nurse and her compassionate nature are evident through her interactions with Sue. Her background likely includes specialized training in caring for patients with severe injuries or conditions.

Nurse Nancy

Similar to Nurse Sandy, Nurse Nancy's background is not explicitly detailed in the book. However, her role as a nurse suggests that she possesses the necessary qualifications and experience to provide quality care to patients like Sue.

Mr. Baier

Mr. Baier's background is primarily portrayed through his relationship with Sue. He is depicted as a loving and committed husband, suggesting a background of a strong and supportive partnership. His presence and support throughout Sue's journey indicate his dedication to their relationship.

Character Arcs

Sue Baier

Sue Baier's character arc in "Bed Number Ten" revolves around her journey from despair and frustration to acceptance and hope. Initially devastated by her paralysis, Sue experiences a range of negative emotions. However, as she interacts with medical staff, receives care and support from her husband and family, and gradually adjusts to her new reality, she begins to find strength and resilience. Sue's character arc involves embracing her condition and focusing on her recovery, ultimately leading to personal growth and a newfound perspective on life.

Dr. Thompson

Dr. Thompson's character arc is less prominent compared to Sue's, as he primarily serves as Sue's doctor and medical advisor. However, his interactions with Sue showcase his commitment to providing the best care possible. Dr. Thompson's character arc involves adapting his medical approach to suit Sue's specific needs and collaborating with other healthcare professionals to ensure her well-being.

Nurse Sandy

Nurse Sandy's character arc revolves around her initial role as a caregiver and her growing emotional connection with Sue. Initially, Sandy provides physical care and support, but as the story progresses, she becomes a source of emotional strength for Sue. Her dedication to Sue's well-being and her ability to empathize with her contribute to her character arc, as she develops a deeper bond with Sue and helps her through the challenges she faces.

Nurse Nancy

Nurse Nancy's character arc is relatively minor compared to other characters. As a member of the nursing staff, her role primarily involves providing medical care and support to Sue. While her character does not undergo significant personal growth or transformation, her contributions to Sue's care and her collaboration with other healthcare professionals highlight the importance of teamwork in patient recovery.

Mr. Baier

Mr. Baier's character arc revolves around his unwavering support and dedication to Sue throughout her hospitalization. From the beginning, he remains by her side, providing emotional and practical support. His character arc involves adapting to the challenges of Sue's condition, advocating for her needs, and maintaining a positive outlook, ultimately becoming an essential pillar of strength for Sue.


Sue Baier and Dr. Thompson

The relationship between Sue Baier and Dr. Thompson is primarily professional. Dr. Thompson serves as Sue's primary doctor, providing medical expertise and guidance throughout her hospitalization. Their relationship is characterized by mutual respect and collaboration as they work together to ensure Sue's well-being.

Sue Baier and Nurse Sandy

The relationship between Sue Baier and Nurse Sandy is one of deep emotional connection and support. Sandy's compassionate care and attentiveness foster a bond of trust between her and Sue. Throughout Sue's journey, Sandy becomes not only a caregiver but also a source of emotional strength and encouragement.

Sue Baier and Nurse Nancy

Sue Baier's relationship with Nurse Nancy is more limited in scope compared to her relationship with Nurse Sandy. Nancy's role primarily involves providing medical care and support to Sue. While their interactions are not as extensively explored, Nancy's presence contributes to Sue's overall care and well-being.

Sue Baier and Mr. Baier

The relationship between Sue Baier and her husband, Mr. Baier, is one of unwavering love and support. Mr. Baier stands by Sue's side throughout her hospitalization, providing emotional strength and encouragement. Their relationship is characterized by a deep bond and a shared commitment to overcoming the challenges they face together.

Sue Baier and Family Members

Sue Baier's extended family members play a supportive role throughout her hospitalization. Their love and care provide Sue with emotional support and encouragement during her challenging journey. While the specific dynamics of each relationship are not extensively explored, their presence contributes to Sue's overall well-being.

In "Bed Number Ten" by Sue Baier, the characters come together to create a compelling narrative of resilience, compassion, and personal growth. Sue Baier's journey, along with the support of medical staff, her husband, and family, showcases the power of determination and the strength of human connections in overcoming adversity.