They say, ‘First impression is the last impression.’ The first thing that the patients notice while they enter the dental clinic is the waiting area or the reception room. Thus, the reception essentially serves as the first impression for a dental clinic. Therefore, it is mandatory for the waiting area to radiate comfort, calm atmosphere, confidence, positivity, and professionalism. One never knows what a patient has in their mind while they walk in a dental clinic. But a homely and an assuring atmosphere of the waiting area can certainly put the patient at ease.
How to design an ergonomic waiting area?
Dental appointments are inherently long. The patients sitting in the reception are already nervous about their appointment. And long waiting period can exacerbate this anxiety. Hence, it is imperative to have a pleasant waiting room that will curb the anxiety of the patient. Research says sunlight or daylight helps to reduce stress in humans. Therefore, the waiting room should be designed such that there is at least some daylight in the room. It is good to include at least one or two plants inside the waiting room since the green plants also have a calming effect on the human mind.
The furniture has to be minimal which will not occupy major space. Since, reception area in a dental clinic is one place where many people like lab technicians, dealers, medical representatives take a halt. Thus, the furniture has to be such that there is enough space to hustle yet it is not disturbing to the waiting patients. The wall of the reception area can be decorated with informative frames or smiling, beautiful pictures which will help to create a positive and a happy picture on the patient’s mind regarding dentistry.
How does music help the waiting patients?
Walking in the dental clinic is no walk in the park. The long appointments and equally long waiting period in the reception makes the patient even more nervous. We find people always plugged in with their headphones listening to music utilizing their waiting time thanks to cutting-edge technology. But music in the professional setup is different than the personal preference of the patient. Medical research has proved that music can be extremely helpful to ease out stress in hospital and dental clinic waiting areas. It helps to cut down the excess chatter going on in patient’s minds and make them more relaxed.
What type of music can be played in the waiting area?
- Slow, soothing, classical songs.
- Music that is at lower decibel level.
- Instrumental music is more soothing rather than songs.
Soothing music helps to regulate cortisol, a stress hormone, as a result patients are better adapted to the dental atmosphere and are less anxious.
Utilize the waiting area for effective dental marketing!
Dental marketing has become an inevitable part of dental practice worldwide. Dental professionals come up with new and innovative ideas every now and then to market their practice. While spending so much of time, money and energy on the marketing aspect, Dentists can utilize their existing waiting area to promote their practice. Instead of magazines, Dentists can keep small informative brochures regarding procedures or highlight any new procedure being conducted at their workplace, or simply information pamphlets.
Every reception of a dental clinic has a television set, instead of playing some meaningless news or any other channel why not promote your own small videos. These small videos can be either informative, short procedure, a video showing the sterilization protocol, any activity conducted or a feedback video. These small videos can have a huge positive impact on the waiting patients about the workflow of their attending Dentist and keep them engaged.
Aromatherapy for your practice
Smell has a huge influence on our mind as well as body. Any smell when inhaled by the olfactory cells of the nasal cavity send the signals to the limbic system producing an immediate response in the body. Aroma has a powerful physical and psychological effect on our body.
Earlier, as soon as the patient walked out of the clinic, he/she strongly smelled of eugenol which confirmed the dental appointment in the social circle. Thanks to the revolution in dental material science patients no longer smell like eugenol. Such is the importance of aroma in dentistry.
Thus, having a calm and pleasant aroma in the waiting area is very important to distract the patient’s stressed mindset. Essential oils play a very vital role in keeping the patient’s mood stress-free, relaxed and happy.
A little touch of artwork for your reception area!
A study published by the college of nursing and Health of Drexel University found that merely observing a good art work reduces cortisol level by 75%. Thus, decorating the walls of the reception with soft and natural-colored images creates a calm and tranquil environment. Natural landscapes or floral images send positive vibes to the minds of an observer. Therefore, a good artwork in the waiting area helps to ease the patient’s anxiety and stress to some extent by distracting his/her focus.
- Your waiting room is the first place in the dental clinic to tell your patients that we care for you.
- A comfortable, relaxed and patient centric waiting area is the first step to building a successful practice.
- The style and material of the furniture, color of the wall should reflect the color of your dental practice brand.
- Playing soft, mellow and soothing music can help to ease patient’s nerves.
- The right amount of day light, floral images and soft colors creates a welcoming ambience to the patients.