Is it a wonder that nobody likes to go to one?
I have had the occasion of being a chauffeuse or rather the ' bringer ' of a villager to hospital visits. Not overnight stays but to have the various check ups that the Gods of Medicine practice from the hospital wards. I do say Gods, because the senior titles of these doctors inspire obedience and admiration by the patients.
" The Primar told me to do this or that...I will do what he says."Driving him to the hospital is always fun because he has a lot of knowledge, local knowledge! Say no more...
By now I am rather clued up about some of the corridors at the local hospital. Look, it is a hospital like any other and is medically very good. The nurses fast walk throughout the corridors and the out-patients linger on hard chairs debating whether to touch a magazine or not, one that might be as old as the hills and been touched by many others.
A few times I've sat waiting several hours. Usually I take a book, but one can't help but notice things. Sitting there for a long time is rather depressing. The decor is stark and the floors are mostly that ugly linoleum; favoured everywhere - sticky in some parts and loud as can be when the nurses stride about with their unmistakable purpose.
As my perch was at the geriatrics unit, at times the voice of the receptionist was heard by all and sundry, explaining to a sorry soul that he / she had to give a urine sample.
Every few minutes, a hospital bed was wheeled passed by a carer. A bed mostly occupied. Occupied by either somebody writhing in pain, or almost exposing too much of their body because they were clad in hospital gowns. Personally, I tended to look away, as I would hate to be paraded about the waiting areas like some distraction. Not very dignified.
Most of the nurses and doctors treated patients with all the dignity and respect needed but a few had that peculiar language applied to the elderly...one where they become almost invisible and are treated like toddlers. Never mind that being older one should be afforded oodles of respect. Age is earned and most envied, as not getting old means only one thing!
Anyway, back to the interior of the hospital. Clearly the interior designer didn't spend a lot of time in it. There should be a law that before they design it, they need to spend a few days hanging about in a dreary hospital.
We all know, how expensive a sojourn to the bastion of medicine can be. Unless you have medical aid, your house and savings might be used to pay for the trip ( gosh, it is cheaper to spend an all inclusive month on the Q.E 2 than in a hospital ) So, there can't be a lack of money in hospitals and more importantly no reason to make the interior so dreary, boring, undignified and at times, plain ugly.
Nursing and being a doctor are fabulous careers to do. Saving lives on a daily basis must be the best feeling in the world. But, even the staff are surrounded by the dreariness of hospitals. They are in it most of their lives and deserve it to be more cheerful.
Making the interior design of any hospital more cheerful and not just starkly functional, could even aid in the healing process of patients. Not to mention the happy disposition of the staff...