One thing that has always struck me about disparities between hospitals is how vastly different children’s hospitals are architecturally compared to adult hospitals. As soon as you enter a children’s hospital, you are greeted by bright happy colors. This is carried over into the patient’s rooms as well. On top of that, there is always a flurry of activity with the central goal of keeping the kids happy. Clowns are walking down the hallway. Group activities are scheduled. Back in undergrad, I volunteered to play music with children at the children’s hospital in Pittsburgh.
I wonder why these themes haven’t carried over to adult hospitals. I understand that children are young and more innocent and so more effort is placed on their happiness. I’ve often felt that if I were ever to be hospitalized, I’d much rather be in a children’s hospital. I find the adult wards to be drab and depressing. I wonder if satisfaction rates and recovery rates would change if we changed the atmosphere of adult hospitals. I honestly can’t think of any activities that we do at adult hospitals that parallel the ones at children’s hospitals. I suppose access to religious representatives could count.
I even think the lighting differs in children’s hospitals. It always feels much brighter in children’s hospitals. Staff is generally friendly as well. Why shouldn’t adult hospitals be similar? I’m not saying we should have clowns walking down the hallways, but even changing the lighting or the colors would make it a better environment for our sick adults! Adults enjoy the fun too!