Patient: Could you tell me where I should go to get my bloods done, Nurse?
Nurse: (pointing) Yes, of course, sir. You just follow the little red dots on the floor and you'll get to Phlebotomy.
Patient: Red dots?
Nurse: Yes, they're painted on the floor all along the corridor. They'll lead you there.
Yes, I know. You can't believe it either.
Here's how I think the conversation could have developed ....
Patient: Oh, thank you. Well, after my bloods, I have an appointment with Urology. Can you direct me there?
Nurse: Oh, you just follow the yellow line down that corridor there, then turn left.
Patient: Next week I'm coming with my wife to the Gynaecologist. Where's that?
Nurse: Oh, that's just down this corridor opposite. There's a Fallopian tube drawn along the wall - follow that, and then turn left when the tube changes to little egg designs. You'll see those developing into foetuses and then when you reach the big fat baby, you're there. The consulting areas are labelled Womb 1, 2 and 3.
Patient: What about the skin consultant - Dermatology? Can you tell me where that is? I'm bringing a friend in a fortnight. Someone said it's the corridor with the flower designs on the floor.
Nurse: They're not flower designs. That's ringworm. Just follow the circles and you'll get to the skin clinic without a hitch.
Patient: I'm having terrible problems with my joints, so my doctor said he'd get me an appointment with the Rheumatologist. Where's that?
Nurse: Ah, now that's where we make it really fun for you. The route begins at the automatic doors, where you'll see some foot bones drawn on the floor. Your job is to find the knee bones. The knee bones are connected to the thigh bones. The thigh bones are connected to the hip bones. Carry on like that, and when you get to the door with the skull on it, that's the Rheumatologist. Well, that's not the Rheumatologist; that's just the picture that's on his door.
Patient: Isn't that quite a long walk?
Nurse: The fun element will take your mind off the severe joint pain and decreased mobility, sir. That's the whole idea. It's called patient care.
Patient: I think I'd end up at the mortuary if I tried to do that walk.
Nurse: Well, if you do, and any of your relatives come to identify your body, they'll see that the tiles in that corridor are all rectangular and in a nice oak-brown wood design with a snazzy little brass handle etched into each one.
Patient: That will be a great comfort, I'm sure, to my grieving relatives.
Nurse: No problem, sir. Reassuring patients is our aim. This is the NHS, after all.
|The hospital's Corridor Design Committee was studying options for|
getting patients to Gastroenterology