I am now officially an Aunt. My handsome nephew was born on Oct. 5 and everyone is doing just fine. So now I have a chance to write a few comments after spending many hours at a hospital.
No one really likes hospitals. After all, most of the time when you’re going, you’re either visiting someone sick or hurt or you’re the one going in yourself. And it may look like a clean environment, but if you’re any level of OCD like I am, you can’t help think its probably rather disgusting given what can go on in there.
But, there are those few hospitals that actually are convincingly nice places. The one I was at last week is one of these. The biggest reason? New construction. Half of it’s still being built. And it has a lot of money going into it. When hospitals use wood accents, changing wallpaper with different areas of the hospital, and glass tile in places like lobbies and cafeterias, you know they put some good money into it. And it works. If you ignore the machines, hospitals beds, and nurses, this hospital was really rather nice. Just be careful where you sit in the waiting rooms. People who go through there may not be patients, but that doesn’t make them any less likely to do something like pee on a seat. Yeah, I ran across that.
In short, there are a few things that make a hospital a little homier. Wood accents are always a good way to add warm to a place. And even though white can give the impression of a sterile environment, colors like off-whites and beiges give a much more warm and cozy feeling without losing that clean feeling. I didn’t see this at the hospital I visited, but I believe plant life adds a good homey and clean feeling to an environment. That and a water feature. I think hospitals should have a lobby or indoor area that is much like the Opryland Hotel. Lots of live plants, running water, and garden like atmosphere. Would do a lot of the well being of patients, especially those that are stuck there for a while. Though there are many other ways to make a hospital look less like a hospital, I’m not going to try and list them all. One last thing I thought was great about this hospital though too was the use of roofs as outdoor terraces for people to go out and sit. That is a much better use of a roof that sits lower than other floors and I think should be utilized with every opportunity.
All in all, I still don’t like hospitals that much, and I honestly don’t know if many people do. But I appreciate those that try to make the environment less intimidating and more inviting. It’s the little details that show how those who built it did their best to make a functional hospital inviting and as comfortable as it can be for everyone.
What’s your least favorite aspect of a hospital or what is a favorite aspect of a hospital you’ve been to recently? Why?