Assessing veterinary patients doesn't have to mean taking them into a 'scary' exam room.
As Fear Free medicine and low-stress handling techniques have become the norm, the associated ways of thinking have taken root in all areas of the veterinary field. Veterinary architects, like HospitalDesign360 speaker Heather Lewis, AIA, NCARB, for example, have embraced the concepts and incorporated them into the planning process.
And that doesn't just mean using pet-friendly materials and lighting. Lewis says it's an entire approach that may include designing outdoor areas for multipurpose use that includes examinations. Designated exterior locations, whether in front of the clinic or near the back door (but accessible from the parking lot), bring many benefits.
"These outdoor spaces are really flexible and really wonderful and they help create that Fear Free environment," she says.
Fear Free meets hospital design
Exam tables in the age of Fear Free veterinary care.
Clinic design with Fear-Free in mind.
A welcoming, sunlit outdoor exam spot can be a viable alternative for dogs who are afraid of going into the veterinary clinic by essentially eliminating the clinic itself from the equation, she says.
But, what about cats who can raise a major ruckus in the hospital, you ask?
"It would have to be completely fenced and completely roofed, of course, but a screened porch might be an interesting idea to try," she says.
What's more, a "backyard" can also be used for euthanasia, Lewis adds, provided it retains a warm, welcoming atmosphere suitable for other functions.
Watch the video for more.
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