If you’re going to the hospital for a quick checkup or treatment that lasts for a day or less, you’ll barely notice how boring hospitals can be. However, if you’re admitted for several days or more, the boredom hits hard and fast.
You’re in your hospital bed with nothing to do, nowhere to go, and time seems to slow down. What can hospitals do to reduce this boredom?
1. Allow service animals
Therapy animals have become a common feature in some hospitals in the UK and the US. These animals are typically approved by recognized organizations before they can become therapy animals.
The most common therapy animals are dogs, cats, and ponies. People become lively at the sight of a dog, some want to pet it, and others want to cuddle. Some hate dogs; thus, having a wide range of therapy animals would help.
If a patient doesn’t like dogs, they can pet a cat or pony. The patient can even walk the dogs around the hospital with supervision. This would allow the patient to get some workout done and sunshine.
Some might even enjoy talking to the therapy animals, especially the senior patients. Kids will enjoy playing with animals, and the animals will enjoy being in the company of kids.
However, before any of this is implemented, the hospital will need to have rules. You can mandate that patients have to book therapy animals, and the animals can’t hop from one hospital room to the other. Such rules will help reduce the spread of infections.
While in hospitals, patients can’t attend music concerts or movie theatres. However, organizations such as Music in Hospitals & Care are helping keep patients entertained by bringing live music to hospitals in the UK.
Such organizations can help reduce boredom in hospitals, not just for the patients but also for the staff.
3. Wall Art
Hospital walls are typically blank except for a few posters, signage, etc. The walls will have a plain color, such as white. The issue with blank walls is that they get boring, especially if you’re in the hospital for an extended period.
Hospitals can embrace wall art to help reduce stress for both the staff and patients. For example, a dentist can have wall art in the respective rooms to help the patient focus on something else other than the procedure the dentist is performing.
The pediatric office could also have such art to help children get comfortable being in the hospital. Art in medical offices, waiting rooms, hallways, restrooms, etc. is needed to improve the patients’ experience in the hospital.
Patients are bored in hospitals, and visual stimulation from wall art could help make the stay more enjoyable. Hospitals can get wall art from stores such as https://www.photowall.co.uk/canvas-prints/nature.
4. Hospital Gardens
Being in nature is calming and restorative. Hospitals that have space can create a garden where patients can take a moment off their ‘busy’ day to rest and enjoy the views. Humans are programmed to find nature appealing; thus, it will serve as a distraction from their pain and discomfort.
Since being in hospitals is boring, hospitals can provide books for patients in hospitals. Some can build a library, but it’s an expensive undertaking that offers little to no return on investment. Therefore, a cheaper alternative would be to have books, novels, magazines, newspapers, etc. that patients can read during their stay.
The hospital would need to figure out how to give patients access to books in a safe way that eliminates the spread of infections. Currently, some hospitals have NHS libraries, but they’re focused on staff. The resources in these libraries would be inappropriate for patients.
Those with available infrastructure can collaborate with local libraries to stock up books that are appropriate for patients. Kids could get coloring books; elderly patients could get sudoku books or even games such as chess.
Hospitals can improve a few areas to make the patient’s more comfortable and engage during their stay. Some improvements, such as a garden, could be expensive to accomplish, but it could serve more than just the patients. The staff can also enjoy a walk in the green garden to unwind after a tough day at work.