Individuals who read this article and complete the series of questions may be eligible to receive continuing education credit (CEU) as approved by IDCEC.
To take the corresponding quiz for CEUs, please visit : http://www.iida.org/content.cfm/healthcaredesign
If you have any questions, you may contact the IIDA Education Department at 312-467-1950 or toll-free at 888-799-IIDA.
Have you heard the expression, “Good things come to those who wait”? Do you agree with it? The term “wait” has negative connotations. Consider its definitions, according to www.dictionary.com:
wait (weyt) verb
- to remain inactive or in a state of repose, as until something expected happens
- to be available or in readiness
- to remain neglected for a time
- to postpone or delay something
There are many sayings associated with waiting, and all seem to be unfavorable. “Wait for the other shoe to drop;” “Time and tide wait for no man;” “Don’t just sit there, do something;” and Ralph Waldo Emerson’s famous line, “How much of human life is lost in waiting?”
A number of years ago, FedEx ran an advertisement with the headline, “Waiting is frustrating, demoralizing, agonizing, aggravating, annoying, time-consuming, and incredibly expensive.”
I agree. Waiting can be those things. But for healthcare institutions, waiting can also be a positive experience, if it’s planned properly.
As we all know, time spent waiting “comes with the territory” in healthcare settings. You wait to hear your name called before an appointment and to be seen by the physician, or you wait for a friend or loved one during his or her visit. The waiting, which can be highly emotional, can seem to go on and on. If you have anxiety about being in a healthcare setting, the waiting time may seem even longer.
What are some things we can include in our waiting room designs that can help foster a positive experience for all the people using the space?
Let’s start with seating. There is a large cross-section of people using waiting rooms: different ages, different sexes, different illnesses, and different concerns. Each person has different needs. Design with flexibility in mind.
Since people like to congregate in different-sized groups, consider offering movable furniture that can be repositioned to fit the needs of each group. In addition, combine different sizes of seating. Not only will people find what suits them best, a variety of seating makes for a much more interesting space than if the seating is row after row of the same style.