Trauma-Informed Hospital Environment
An outpatient psychiatry department was relocating to a new floor in a hospital. The waiting room originally planned to have seats that were linked one next to the other, stadium style, offering patients little individual space.
A trauma-informed staff member insisted that individual chairs be provided for the waiting patients, knowing that some would want to sit alone, turn aside, or just have a sense of safe space.
Without this small change, patients with a history of trauma could experience a negative trigger and possibly feel uncomfortable enough in the waiting room that they wouldn’t benefit as much from their therapy. In fact, they may not have returned to the facility as a result.
Providing helpful trauma-informed care often lies in the details.