s hospital environment conducive to healing?

It’s not uncommon for some patients to find their hospital stays — particularly when the stay is in the general ward of a public hospital —more distressing than the health affliction that sent them to hospital in the first place.
My grandmother is one such patient.
Having recently lost her vision in both eyes, she was recommended a period of hospitalisation at a local health facility.
Arriving at the ward at the start of her stay as an inpatient, she expressed only one wish: to be assigned a bed where she would feel the warmth of the morning sun on her face.
After all, the sun, she has always believed, has the power — if not to heal her affliction — at least to lift her spirits.
But alas, my grandmother found herself in a rather crowded room with no windows, leave alone the prospect of the rays of the sun streaming into the ward. It was depressing, she felt, in the psychological sense of the term.
Which brings me to the point about the importance of the indoor hospital environment being so designed to uplift the patient first and foremost mentally and psychologically before the real healing and recovery can begin.
The current design and construction of hospitals, it must be pointed out, is dictated by a desire to reduce the risk of infection and its transmission. Fair enough.
But what about the emotional needs of the patients?
The confined rooms, absence of windows in many cases, and so on, breed stress for vulnerable patients, such as my grandmother.
Such hospital formats are not helpful to patients, as well as their families, who crave natural light, for example.
While patients have to endure intense stress and inconvenience linked to their illness, injury or surgery, there is little comfort to be gained from the closed environments that many hospital wards generally are. Some attention must be given to the creation of environments and settings that would help calm the patients and give them emotional succour amid the traumatic time they are undergoing during their recovery.
There is a growing need to create functionally efficient and hygienic environments that also have pleasant, stress reducing characteristics. Indoor gardens maybe a good solution to start with.
Healthcare administrators have no idea of the health-related benefits that patients realise by simply looking at gardens and plants.
Psychologists have consistently stressed that simply looking at environments dominated by greenery, flowers, or water is significantly more effective in promoting recovery or restoration from stress.
Unfortunately, the situation in today’s hospitals is just the opposite. Four to six beds crowded into one small room separated by a curtain with no space allotted for the patient’s attendant to sleep is a sufficient cause for depression.
Requesting a private room is a struggle. The hospital’s policy is not to give private rooms for patients whose stay is lengthy. However, long-staying patients are the ones who need such rooms for their comfort.
For how long will the attendant sleep on the ground with only a bed-sheet for comfort? Neither do hospitals provide a mattress for the attendant nor allow them to bring their own portable sleeping bag.
Visiting hours is another issue that hospitals need to adjust for the comfort of patients.
Currently, the two-hour window causes much inconvenience as visitors rush to make the most of the time to visit relatives, causing in turn congestion in parking lots within the hospital. Extended visiting hours will allow relatives to plan their visits carefully.
These and other constraints do not always work to enhance clinical or medical outcomes.
The professionalism of staff is never an issue as the authorities always hire the best doctors and staff. However, the hospital environment should be such that it is conducive to the treatment process.
A proper environment can reduce stress and improve clinical outcomes through mechanisms such as increasing access to social support, and providing opportunities for positive escape from stressful clinical settings.