Whether you're adding another location, moving your practice, or simply looking for new, creative ways to decorate your pediatric office, we asked a number of PCC practices for tips and ideas on creating a fun and welcoming space.
Create a Fun Theme
When thinking about fun pediatric offices, many of the ones that stood out–at least for PCC staff –were practices that included different themes in their office layout. We talked to practices with treehouses, trains, and castles in their waiting rooms, some with jungle animals in their exam rooms, and some that conjured the feeling of the beach, ocean, and night sky in their office, and more.
Some practices chose an overall theme that they carried throughout the practice, such as Dr. Joseph Nasca's beach-themed office in Georgia, Vermont. Other practices, such as Premier Pediatrics in Cedar City, Utah has a different theme in each area, including seperate themes for their sick and well waiting areas. Pictured above is their sick waiting room, featuring this treehouse theme, while well patients are treated to a castle-themed room.Whatever you choose, these practices all said their patients (and parents) just love the fun and playful atmosphere these themes create.
Some office managers did offer up some words of advice though, which was not to choose a theme that would be limited to only younger children, but would have appeal for kids of all ages. Practices such as Pediatrics by Night (PBN) in Trenton, New Jersey have animal themed exam rooms, but Office Manager Linda Tucillo said they make sure to keep a few rooms plain for their teenaged patients that may not want to get their physical in a circus-theme exam room.
Choose Unique Details
While some practices stuck out for their vibrant color schemes, painted murals, or extensive themes, a number of practices had unique touches that made their office memorable.
One great example comes from Lisa Allardice, M.D. in LaGrange Georgia. Office Manager Michelle Knight said that each year, they invite their patients to an open house and put their handprint on a canvas mural that is hung on the wall. The kids enjoy finding their hand print every time they visit the office. A lesson they learned from this was to provide a surface that could be mounted to the wall rather than put the prints directly on the wall to allow for more portability if they ever wanted to move.
Clare Brown from Valley Pediatrics in Greenwhich Connecticut (VPG), was able to give their practice a contemporary, yet kid-friendly flair through her choice of unique details. "I think what people like about it is that it's sleek without being intimidating," she said. In decorating the office, she and Dr. Juan chose vibrant colors that "pop," including a cobalt blue and teal against white and vinyl flooring that looks like hardwood for a clean feel.
She said the detail that really pulls the look together and makes it unique is the large framed posters of animals hung throughout the office. Brown said she found them for free online at http://www.allposters.com and had them blown up and professionally framed. Brown said they look expensive, but it was very reasonble. She said the office has appeal for older and younger kids while still being fun.
Make Design Decisions for Form and Function
While there are many fun ways to decorate a pediatric practice, it's always important to keep practical considerations in mind. Some of the most fun practices we've seen also feature a number of choices that promote safety and cleanliness.
Practices such as VPG, PBN, and Premier all have seperate areas or divided sick and well waiting rooms for patients. Clare at VPG said the vinyl floors they picked out were chosen because they would be easy to keep clean. Becky Phillips from Premier Pediatrics said their entire office is designed with germ flow in mind. From the time patients enter and split into seperate sick and well waiting rooms, until they pay at the checkout counter and leave through a seperate door, they never have to back-track through the office.
View our full album of fun ideas for pediatric offices. Do you have fun office ideas to contribute? Feel free to add photos to our online album or submit a comment below with your tips.