No one can say with confidence that they enjoy going to the doctor or any medical professional for that matter. And what’s worse than having to go to the doctor? Having to sit around in the waiting room in anticipation of your doom. Well, that might be slightly over dramatic, but some people are truly terrified of being in the doctor’s offices.
Doctors are all about patient care and wellbeing (as they should be). So, wouldn’t that include the care of their comfort while they wait to be treated? We’ll be discussing a few ways to make the wait in the waiting room more comfortable for your patients.
More than adequate seating
The first thing patients do after they report to the front desk is try to find a seat. Now, doctors rooms are already awkwardly quiet and it doesn’t help to have squeaky plastic-wrapped chairs and couches that make a noise every time your move while sitting on them.
Invest in a new, comfortable and large enough lounge suite to place in the waiting room. Not only will it make the wait more comfortable, but patients will feel more like they’re in someone’s living room than a doctors room. And that will put them at ease a little bit.
It’s also not the best when the direction of the seating is faced away from where the doctor comes out to greet the patient and they have a mini heart attack from being caught unaware. The design and placement of the waiting room seating are very important. And to complement the beautiful lounge sets, you can repaint the white walls to light shades of blue or grey to add to the relaxing properties of the room.
Current magazine subscriptions
The next thing that needs to be updated is the date of your waiting room magazines. It’s cost-effective to take the old magazines from home and fan them across the waiting room coffee table. But you’re only frustrating the patient who reads something incredibly interesting, only to find out that the article was written in 2010 and the research is, probably, no longer relevant or accurate.
All you need to do is find a budget to subscribe to a couple of magazines. And if the business can’t afford it, the least you could do is buy an updated magazine every once in a while. One that has the latest news, styles and gossip. Patients turn the pages of magazines to calm themselves down and distractedly pass the time before their appointment. The goal isn’t to frustrate them and worry them more than they already are.
Plenty of natural lighting
To some people, the doctor’s rooms are a dreadful place. Waiting rooms don’t need to add to the doom and gloom by being underlit with flickering lights and always-closed blinds or the polar opposite of being incredibly and clinically bright.
Make the space feel less restrictive (or invasive) and happier by incorporating as much natural light as possible. Open the blinds, add a couple of windows and keep the air flowing to keep the room feeling light and fresh.
Have a water cooler
Another addition to the waiting room that will make the wait more comfortable is by adding and offering a water cooler to patients. Provide recyclable cups or glasses that patients can use to help themselves to some water.
The benefits of having a water cooler is that water is good for you, it gives patients something to do while they wait and water coolers are known for encouraging small-talk which, in this case, will get patients talking to each other and redirect their nerves.
Easy listening music
It would also help to have some easy listening music playing softly in the background, even just putting on the radio will make a difference. It gives patients something to focus on other than their pending appointment and provides another opportunity to discuss things with other patients. In general, music is good at helping people relax and be happy.
Art and certifications on the wall
It’s been scientifically proven that art has the ability to relax people when they view it or create it. So it would make sense, then, to hang some relaxing art on the wall for patients to ponder over. It also wouldn’t hurt to have the medical practice and its doctors’ certifications visible in the waiting room. It provides that extra bit of reassurance and trust between practitioner and patient that will help them be more comfortable about sitting in the doctor’s chair.
You don’t want stress to be an added symptom your patient picks up in your waiting room. Make the effort and invest the money in creating a comfortable waiting room experience for your patients.