Before overhauling an existing design, it’s wise to consult with those currently using the space. The healthcare industry, once notorious for only taking into account the views of administrators and doctors, are now increasingly including nurses in construction redesign discussions.

Nurses as Leaders in Healthcare Design: A Resource for Nurses and Interprofessional Partners, a new book from the Nursing Institute for Healthcare Design (NIHD) and Herman Miller Healthcare, was put together by executive editors and nurses Jaynelle Stichler and Kathy Okland to inform and guide clinicians through the design process. According to them, nurses play a critical role in the lives of their patients, so why wouldn’t they be more involved in their hospital’s redesign process? Loaded with practical information and case studies, the book has over 20 contributors who touch on a range of topics, including nurse-led innovations and trends that affect design.

There is an increasing trend of healthcare architectural firms hiring nurses to share views and identify evidence-based design (EBD) needs of the healthcare environment. The nurses serve 2 vital purposes: Guide architects in their redesign plans and assist clinical providers in understanding the design language.

Let’s face it- nurses are skilled at interpreting patient experiences and outcomes and their view points are invaluable for designing state-of-the-art healing environments. They interact on a daily basis with patients and their families, doctors, therapists, and hospital administrators. As a second career option, joining the world of architecture is a brilliant idea. According to Nurse Oakland, “Nurses are very familiar with evidence-based practices based on their experience in evidence-based medicine, so it’s a natural alignment for them to step into EBD and interpret that for others who may have found that science to be rather new.” (image via Shutterstock)

Nurses Stichler and Okland were recently interviewed by Healthcare Design magazine. Read their interview here.

Source: Anne DiNardo | At Bat: Nurses Step Up To Design Plate | August 27, 2015 |

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