How To Make Your Waiting Room More Comfortable for Patients

September 13, 2023
How To Make Your Waiting Room More Comfortable for Patients

The waiting rooms in many medical practices are quiet, grey, and mostly populated by stiff furniture and even stiffer patients. While it’s normal for patients to feel nervous and even uncomfortable in medical facilities, a cold, unwelcoming waiting room only worsens those feelings. An overly anxious patient can be difficult to communicate with, diagnose, and treat. Too much anxiety can even inhibit healing. Let’s take a look at how to make your waiting room more comfortable in order to give your patients a more pleasant experience.

Utilize Natural Elements

Stark, white fluorescent lights that illuminate most waiting rooms can be uncomfortable and overwhelming, especially for sensitive eyes. Using windows to let in natural light can be much more comforting; who doesn’t feel calm under sunlight? You can also add some greenery to liven up the space and make it feel homey. You don’t have to add real plants if you or your medical staff don’t have a green thumb. Plastic plants work just as well, but be sure to dust them when you can, as they can harbor allergens.

Strategically Arrange Furniture

Avoid the rows of stiff, uncomfortable armchairs in your waiting room. Invest in chairs, sofas, and couches that emulate home, as long as they’re easy to clean. It’s also beneficial to keep clusters of furniture together throughout the waiting room. Many people will attend their appointment with a trusted friend or loved one and can feel uncomfortable sitting elbow-to-elbow with a stranger.

Use Warm and Inviting Colors

Colors can affect your mood, and while white may seem calming, it can actually make a room appear too bright and overwhelming. Instead, use warm and inviting colors like soft, pale beiges, yellows, or oranges. As long as they aren’t glaringly vibrant, these warm colors can create a more welcoming atmosphere in your waiting room.

You aren’t limited to applying these colors to the walls! You can include furniture, art, and various décor that match your calming palette.

Offer Water, Snacks, and Amenities

While you don’t have to break out a full snack bar, it’s important to remember that your patients have physical needs, and they may spend a long time waiting for their appointments. Water and packaged snacks, such as chips and granola bars, can go a long way in easing their nerves. Waiting rooms also tend to be very cold to prevent the spread of illnesses. Next time you’re choosing a fluid warmer for your facility, think of buying one that doubles as a blanket warmer to offer patients extra comfort.

Break the Silence

A silent waiting room leaves too much space for anxious thoughts to take hold. One of the easiest ways to make your waiting room more comfortable for your patients is to break the silence with calming music or television. However, make sure not to set the volume too high while offering subtitles for people with hearing or visual impairments. It’ll be a welcome distraction for anxious minds, resulting in calmer, happier patients.

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