Young patients are often the most difficult to please. They are also the most demanding and impatient of patients. Visiting a healthcare professional with kids can be very challenging for parents and yourself as the provider. Having the proper equipment and resources to deal with children can help improve the quality of care and prevent them from leaving a negative impression.
Aside from having the proper equipment and resources to deal with children, having a child-friendly facility also requires addressing various concerns such as safety and accessibility. This can be done by establishing policies and procedures to make the facility more child-friendly. In medical literature, there is a lot of information about communicating effectively with young patients and their parents. However, there are also a lot of other things that you can do to make the facility more child-friendly.
Create Inviting Play Areas
Although the waiting area doesn’t have to be entirely kid-friendly, it can still be used to create a kid zone. You can start by placing kid-friendly carpets or mats on the floor. You can also decorate the walls with colorful and high-quality wall stickers or cartoons. You could connect with the local school and its students and provide free artwork for the space. There are a wide variety of colors and themes that can be used to create a kid-friendly environment, such as fairy tales, superheroes, and sports. You can also create a variety of murals or wallpaper designs.
Provide Kid-Sized Furniture
One of the most critical factors you should consider when designing a kid-friendly environment is the availability of kid-sized furniture. This small size can help children feel more comfortable and provide them with the necessary tools to play. Additionally, it can be safer than having them crawl on full-sized chairs.
Having suitable toys and activities can help keep the kids entertained. It can also help ease the pressure on the parents and make the waiting area more comfortable for your patients. Additionally, consider installing a TV. This can keep the kids entertained and distracted from their impending appointments. It doesn’t have to be fancy; a cheap TV/DVD combination or locking a TV to a kid’s channel is just fine.
Consider Avoiding White Coats
It’s no secret that many kids associate the white lab coat with negative experiences. To help the kids feel more comfortable and at ease, replace the white coat with something more appropriate, such as a cartoon character or animal print. This can help change their perception of the office as a scary place.
Have Kid-Friendly Exam Rooms and Equipment
One of the most critical factors you can consider when designing a kid-friendly environment is creating a treatment room that feels more like a child’s room. Instead of using white walls and linens, use vibrant colors and designs to create more fun and exciting space. You can also add a variety of toys to the room to make it more kid-friendly.
Unfortunately, all the toys and games available in the world can’t always help the kids overcome the anxiety of going to the doctor. In many movies and cartoons, the doctor’s office is still a frightening place. Fortunately, medical equipment companies now realize that kid-friendly instruments are greatly needed. Some of these include stethoscopes made to look like animals, nebulizers with animal noses, and phlebotomy chairs that look like cars.
Offer Rewards in the End
Rewarding a well-behaved kid or model patient is also a great way to show appreciation for their efforts. Having a variety of toys and treats available for the kids after their visit can help them feel more comfortable and make them want to return.
A welcoming and happy environment for the kids can help you build a stronger relationship with your patients and improve their experience with your practice. Between the positive feedback from parents and the number of referrals your older and younger patients give you, having a kid-friendly environment can significantly impact your business.