Sitting in a waiting room waiting your turn is rarely a fun experience. This, unfortunately, tends to be especially true in the dental office. If you're a little backed up and your patients are having to wait longer than usual, then it can get particularly tedious for them.
However, it doesn't have to be. The following are a few tips to entertain your guests and make your waiting room less boring:
At the very least, you need to have some reading materials for your patients. Get a handful of subscriptions to a wide variety of periodicals that you can stack near your waiting room seating. Make sure that you have new issues available so that your patients aren't stuck reading Newsweek from five years ago. News, sports, and home-related magazines tend to be a good way to go. Have a couple of options for kids too.
2. Set up a children's play area
Children grow bored much quicker than parents and can be a handful if this happens. You'll not only make the children who visit your dental practice happy by setting up a play area, but you'll also make their parents happy as well. Make sure the area is carpeted and that there's a wide selection of toys, board games, and puzzles available to play with. While the children are their parents' responsibility, it's best if you stay away from toys that can be easily ingestible, such as Legos.
3. Play some music
Playing non-offensive music is a good way to make your patients feel a little more at ease and helps to make your waiting room feel less bland. Just make sure that if you do decide to play music that you put it on at a relatively low volume. It should be background noise--you don't want it to become difficult to hear when patients are called up to the front desk.
4. Install a TV
If you have the budget, install a TV in a location where everyone in your waiting room can see it. Usually, this means installing it on the wall near the ceiling. Keep the volume low or on mute and put on the subtitles. This way, anyone who doesn't want to pay attention to what's on the TV doesn't have to. As for what to show, leave it on a news channel or on a sports channel to ensure that nothing is accidentally shown that might be offensive to some or that might be inappropriate for younger children.
5. Add visual interest
Sometimes, simply adding visual interest throughout the decor of your waiting room is enough to help keep your patients from being bored, especially if they only have to wait a few minutes. There are plenty of ways that you can do this. For example, adding a fish tank is something many dental practices do. The presence of water creates a relaxing vibe and having a variety of fish will keep the attention of anyone watching them for at least a few minutes. You can also add interesting artwork, photographs, or posters to your walls for your patients to admire.
6. Offer free Wi-Fi and charging stations
Many of your patients will keep themselves busy by using their smartphones. Make sure you have free Wi-Fi that they can use and set up a charging station for if they're running low on juice. This will make life in your waiting room much more convenient.
Use these tips to make your waiting room more entertaining for your patients. For more advice, contact us at HJT Dental Design Consultants today.