Regardless of size or the color on the walls, there are easy ways to improve your working space so both you and your clients are more comfortable.
We all know that feeling when you walk into an audiology fitting room and it just feels right. It has all the space you need, all the necessary equipment at hand and is an oasis of calm for you and your clients. The fitting room of your dreams! However sometimes we don’t have the luxury of space or the choice of color for the walls.
Small fitting room? – there are still things you can do!
Even if you don’t have a large space, there are a few ways to improve your working space to make it more comfortable and efficient. These are especially important if you provide services such as ear impressions for custom products, wax removal and ear cleaning or if you fit extended-wear hearing aids like Phonak Lyric.
One of the first things to do is look at the size and shape of your work space – Is the furniture and equipment positioned in the right place? Sometimes this is dictated by practical considerations such as the location of plug sockets. You want to make sure there are not cables and wires having to be stretched across rooms and that furniture and equipment are positioned so you don’t have to continually keep getting up or stretching over desks to find something.
If you have ever been in an operating room and watched the doctor in action, they have everything they need within arm’s reach and sometimes the nurse even places the needed tool in their hand. Having the equipment you regularly need close to where you regularly use it keeps everything running smoothly and gives the client a seamless clinical experience. There is a lot to be said for having everything set out and close to hand.
Choose and place equipment wisely
If you are considering purchasing a microscope think about if you have enough space, and remember you will also need a chair with head support and a pedestal for you to sit on. The microscope and chair need to be positioned so that it is easy to view both ears and for you to move around the patient freely. If you don’t have space for this, it is possible to get wall mounted microscope arms which are ideal as when they are not in use you can fold them against a wall.
Storage can also be a challenge in a small space if you don’t have a separate room for stock. Always try and find a storage solution that keeps the products in a cool place, not exposed to direct sunlight or direct heat from radiators or equipment.
Have a tray or a disposable covering to set out items that you know you will use and make sure all hygiene equipment such as cleaning tissues and alcohol hand wipes are available in the room and clearly visible as this also send outs a reassuring message to your clients regarding overall cleanliness and professionalism of the clinic.
Give it a trial!
Finally don’t be afraid to move things around if what you thought would work doesn’t. You need to feel comfortable in your daily working space. With a few simple ideas you can customize your space to work as efficiently for you as the custom products you fit to your clients work for them!
For inspiration on designing the audiology space of your dreams search Pinterest: medical office spaces. You can also read an article written by Brian Taylor, AuD, that discusses this topic.