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Features

Create a Charming and Comfortable Waiting Area by Bringing the Outdoors In

For the most part, a medical or dental office is the last place most people want to be. No matter how wonderful and charming your staff is, the simple fact is that most of the people in the waiting room would rather be elsewhere. After all, medical procedures, annual exams and dental cleanings are certainly not fun. It is easy to understand why so many people hold such trepidation about a visit to the doctor or dentist.

That is why it is so important for medical and dental professionals to do what they can to make their waiting areas as warm, relaxing and inviting as possible. By taking the time to add some homey touches to the office, you can put your patients at ease and help them relax just a little bit.

One of the best things doctors and dentists can do is to bring a bit of the outdoor world into their waiting rooms and offices. Something as simple as a potted palm in the corner of the room can have a relaxing effect on patients, and make the staff feel better about those long days at the office as well. As the owner of the office, you can create an ever-changing display of plants and flowers, perhaps varieties chosen from your own garden. Your patients will certainly appreciate the care and concern you expressed when bringing in a little piece of the outdoors.

Doctors and dentists can also bring the charm and beauty of the natural world into their offices with an aquarium. Adding a large freshwater or saltwater tank to your waiting area gives your patients something to focus on, and studies have shown that simply looking at tropical fish for 10 minutes lowers blood pressure and heart rates. Best of all, you do not have to become a fish expert to maintain a beautiful aquarium in your waiting room. There are services you can hire that take care of everything, from setting up the tank and adding fish to cleaning and maintaining it.

If your medical or dental office focuses primarily on children, you might want to get your young patients involved in the redesign and redecorating of your office. Adding a wall mural with an outdoor or jungle theme is a great way for pediatricians and kid-friendly dentists to help their patients relax and lose their fear. Those pediatricians and dentists can set up a kind of arts studio in the waiting area and invite the kids to work on the mural while they are waiting. All you need is some quality water paints and some patients with creativity and imagination. The mural can be an ongoing project, with frequent changes and updates from your littlest patients.

No matter which approach you choose, simply bringing the great outdoors into the four walls of your waiting area can have a profound impact on not only your patients but your employees as well. There is simply something relaxing about spending time in the outdoors, and adding a touch of the world outside to your medical or dental waiting room can be the next best thing.

By Be Conrad, Staff Writer

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