It’s totally cool when you’re at a restaurant with a friend and the people seated at the next table are talking so loud you can’t help but overhear their conversation.
After all, you’re at a public restaurant, right?
But what happens when you are trying to have an important private conversation with a patient in your office or treatment room and there are loud interruptions coming from your colleague next door, your staff at the reception desk, or loud traffic noise from the adjacent busy street?
Many studies have shown that loud noises in healthcare settings increase the heart rate, blood pressure and cause hypertension.
Makes sense, right?
What can you do, then, to help create a quieter (and calmer) atmosphere in your practice besides asking your staff to lower their voices or installing new and costly insulation in your walls and ceiling?
4 easy tips to managing sound that fit within a variety of budgets:
1 – For lighter sound management, play soothing music throughout your practice.
Studies have shown that listening to music can instantly relax the mind, body and spirit connection.
2 – Install your favorite water fountain in your waiting room area to help mask the noise coming from this high traffic space.
Water features are also calming and soothing to the nervous system.
3 – Introduce indoor plants to your space by installing them in every room.
Plants actually do absorb sound well. (No spiky plants please as they cause agitation and in rare cases can poke an eye out.)
4 – Install acoustic felt wool wall panels or standing floor screens.
This is one of my favorite sound management design tools because it is a renewable resource (recycled felt wool is even better) and it comes in a variety of gorgeous colors.
I especially love how this design element works her magic on creating quiet spaces.
(See photo below via Narbutas)
So tell me: How loud does your practice get during your busiest time?
Do you have a special noise management tool that I haven’t shared here?