|This article is about an older version of DF.
Dwarves with the health care labor enabled (default) will rescue wounded fellow dwarves from the battlefield (any location on the map really), and place them in a bed. The trigger seems to be "can't move himself" as both unconscious dwarves and those with wounded legs are rescued. It can take quite some time till a dwarf gets assigned to the job, possibly implying that the task is still a bit buggy (one would expect it to be high priority). It is suspected that activating/deactivating the injured dwarf may re-query the task.
As with any civilian job, the presence of nearby enemies will cause a dwarf to cancel their Health Care mission of mercy, and instead flee in fear.
Also, injured dwarves displaying the rest status won't eat or drink themselves. Instead they will be given food and water by a dwarf with health care enabled. For giving water, a bucket stored on a furniture stockpile, and obviously a water source, is required. If the dwarf is not supplied by his comrades, he will starve/dehydrate and die.
While most dwarves will get happy thoughts from helping the injured, some dwarves "dislike helping others" and even get unhappy thoughts from helping (but will still do so).
Sometimes an injured dwarf will cancel his resting and try to stand; since he is on the same tile as a bed, nobody will save them; but since he isn't resting and can't do anything on his own, he will simply starve to death because nobody will help him. This can be remedied by removing the bed from underneath them, and another dwarf will come save them.
As injured dwarves require watering and feeding, hospital beds are best placed near a water source; preferably a well.