The next time you’re at the doctor’s office, check out the scenery. Do those pale blue walls help soothe your white-coat jitters? Did the sheep in that pastoral painting help you temporarily overcome your fear of needles? Although we seldom pay attention to the decor of hospitals and doctor’s offices, each wall hanging, each piece of furniture, and even the color scheme can affect how we respond to the healthcare experience.
If you’re browsing interior design degrees and considering a career in the field, now’s the time to jump on board in hospital interior design. National employment of interior designers is expected to grow faster than average in the coming years. Experts predict demand from the healthcare industry should be particularly high, as that field continues to need new and better-designed facilities.
Hospital Interior Design: Challenges and Rewards
Interior designers often find that hospitals are among the most challenging and potentially rewarding projects in the interior design world. When designing patient care rooms, nurse stations, reception areas and hospital hallways, the interior designer must operate within fairly strict standards, considering factors like:
- Fire codes
- Infection control
- Patient safety
- Medical equipment
- Needs of the patient, visitors, physicians, nurses and other staff
Furniture, for example, must be durable enough to support obese patients, easily sterilized to prevent infection in patients with stomas or immunodeficient patients, yet still sufficiency light that it can be moved in case of fire. Many interior designers opt for natural materials like wood, soothing blue or green toned colors, and pastoral imagery to create a peaceful space where patients can be comfortable. If this sounds like something you’d like to do, consider earning your interior design degree. You might even be able to save some lives.