Hospitals are designed to bring comfortability as well as be accessible to both patients and healthcare professionals alike. This is why hospitals have a detailed layout and design, which if done right could help improve a patient’s healing process, making them feel more comfortable with whatever is going on. There are many different features that can play a part in this, including: bright rooms, access to natural daylight and outdoor spaces, and potted plants indoors.
Since we’re in the summer months with the weather being warm and sunny, we are going to highlight the importance of hospital healing gardens, or outdoor spaces, and how they are important in the recovery process of patients everywhere.
Outdoor healing gardens are places hospitals implement for patients, families, and healthcare professionals to relax, get out of their rooms, and feel like they aren’t totally stuck in a hospital. They usually include things such as plants, small ponds, benches, walkways, sculptures, and other outdoor features you would see in a courtyard or a backyard. Although it doesn’t seem like it needs to be, these spaces are intentionally designed for healing purposes, and offer patients a vast amount of benefits. The garden can’t just add some plants and bench and call it good. Hospitals that utilize these healing gardens understand why patient care is important.
Outdoor healing gardens are full of positive distractions, which have the ability to speed up the healing process for patients. These can help the patient with emotion and physiological issues, by turning negative emotions into positive ones and reducing stress.
We all know that the weather doesn’t enable everyone to utilize these healing gardens. If that is the case for your hospital or healthcare center, there are still ways you can implement these features. Maybe it’s a rainy day, maybe it is a Nebraska winter; whatever the case may be, if you cannot utilize an outdoor space, then bring the outdoors to the patient! A lot of hospitals do this already, because they understand why patient care is so important. Here are things you can do to make the patient feel more comfortable indoors.
Include large windows in patient rooms for natural sunlight
Implement nature posters of outdoor sights such as a beach or rain forest
Indoor water features such as fountains or water sculptures
Temperatures that compliment the outdoor aesthetic
A local medical center in Omaha will soon implement this into their campus. The University of Nebraska Medical Center is planning a welcoming entrance that includes a park with artwork. “The business we’re in can be very technical and very stressful”, Jen Bartholomew, UNMC executive director of facilities, said. “A one-acre plaza or park will provide breathing room, foliage, art and colors that promote quietude.”
The UNMC Medical Center entrance will include a below-ground stormwater retention basin, as well as a three-story art piece.
Outdoor healing gardens creates a great environment for patients, and are imperative in modern healthcare design. As summer is in full-swing, patients will want to utilize these spaces during their hospital stay, whether short or long.
Hospitals are designed intentionally for the patient, which is why patient care is so important. Utilizing the outdoor will help create a less-stress environment.
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