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Exam room decor


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I am a new grad starting a job at a rural FP clinic. I have the opportunity to decorate the exam rooms as I see fit. Originally, I was just going to hang a couple of pretty generic pictures in the rooms and call it good. However, the new NP in the office (also a new grad) just went out and spent several hundred dollars on pictures as well as wall art, cabinets, and even personalized light-switch covers. Am I missing something here?? Should I be putting more effort into this? Does the way the exam room is decorated really mean anything to the patients? Thanks for your opinions!

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One could cast a hypothesis and consider that perhaps the NP's decision to warm the environment may stem from a more holistic approach to health care. Nurses often place great focus on how you feel overall as a person on a spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical level.

 

That, or they got a bunch of gift cards from a variety of places and needed to use them before they expire.

 

Your patients will know you are new..perhaps as an icebreaker you can ask your patients if they know any local artists in the area who's work may fit in with your clinic. This way you can show the community that you are going to put a bit of cash back in their local economy and the locals get to see one of their "own" have some recognition. Perhaps even take it as far as to offer your walls as a gallery of sorts but I'd just post contact info about the artist, not offer the works for sale. No need to be handling someone else's money. Artists post their stuff for free on your walls....they get some exposure for free, you get some art for free, they make some money, you get tuned into the local scene. Rotate it out every few months..I dunno. I'm just brainstorming.

 

Steve

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I think most things hanging in an exam room should be educational -

hang nice posters about the risk of smoking, the dangers of colon cancer and other items like this.

 

I get an amazing number questions from people that read them while waiting to see me (I try never to run more then 15 min late)

 

there are some pretty nice looking posters out there.

 

also hang a pretty picture on the ceiling for the women when you are doing a pelvic - just distracts them a little - make it "real art" so they can admire it while you are doing your job.

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I used to have a mobile hanging over an exam table to distract little ones when being examined (until someone stole it). As for decorations I prefer pictures. I have photos of local scenes and events in cheap frames (Walmart). I rotate them thru every once in a while. When I had magazines in the room they were family/kid centered (No People or GQ) I think the room can set the mood for the visit and does say something about you.

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I used to get a ton of questions (like I'm sure many of you) along the lines of "What is a PA?"

 

So... I hung the AAPA "What is a PA" poster in one of my exam rooms.

 

I'm not sure if it was the poster or just that folks are getting used to seeing more PAs around here but I get less questions now...

 

Generally, I prefer pictures over the educational stuff (I think that's too distracting)... Just one guy's opinion...

 

Oh yes! I forgot, I do have white boards in my rooms... Sometimes I like to draw stuff out for folks... Not often but it does happen...

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I went to my Ortho's office... and she had the best decor! I loved it and I still talk about it to people. It was very "zen"-like. In her waiting room she had plants, bamboo sticks for a room division and even small fountains! It had warm colors and had a clean smell. In her exam room it was similar but she also added small models of the skeletal structure too! haha.... I've also been to a dr's office where it was sooo boring, I didn't get that warm fuzzy feeling nor did I think the Dr really cared about his practice. I actually brought it to his attention and he asked for my suggestions... He liked it and planned to use them (I havent been there since- so hopefully he's made some changes) I do think the PA poster is a wonderful idea though!

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Should I be putting more effort into this? Does the way the exam room is decorated really mean anything to the patients?

 

As a patient I certainly notice offices that try to make the space comfortable and inviting. Comfort really is a great way to de-stress patients so make sure not to forget the obvious elements such as: comfortable seating, kleenex, coat rack, access to either a water fountain or water cooler, good reading material and patient education pamphlets.

 

One of my hobbies is photography and I have taken some of my favorite pictures and framed theme (very cheaply) to make a collage of visual interests in my exam room. I'm amazed how many people love these pictures and comment on them frequently. Admittedly, I enjoy working in a space that reflects some warmth and personal touches and enjoy being in a practice where this is possible.

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