Even though natural landscapes and lush gardens aren’t the first things that come up to our mind when we think about hospitals, the Khoo Teck Puat Hospital in Singapore is changing this.
It’s certainly a hospital that’s re-envisioning things in healthcare and the mental state of the patients. Hospitals are advancing in numerous ways and this hospital is a proof of that.
The Hospital Full of Nature & Gardens
The hospital which opened in 2010 is now serving 800,000 residents in the North of Singapore and has masked the medicine and chemical smells with more than 700 different types of fragrant plants.
In the hospital’s lobby, there are no machine sounds, but several bird species. There are no sterile white hallways; there are outdoor bridges full of greenery.
The medical buildings in Singapore are known for their multiple tiers of rooms and some are private and come with air conditioning whereas others only natural ventilation and up to five beds.
To make sure all patients are comfy, regardless of the price they paid, the team relied on nature. They placed new windows that can be opened widely to ensure more natural air flow and ability for every patient to see the greenery outside.
During meal times, the patients eat organic food that’s grown in the rooftop garden. Every patient fills their plate with veggies and fruits.
The team of the hospital explains that they’re goal is a complete healing environment and using nature as medicine, not just for the patients, but for the staff and caregivers. It’s a part of a whole system.
Does Greenery Help with Recovery of Patients?
According to reports, even though there’s not enough data to back up the claim that nature as medicine is a viable approach, the hospital says anecdotally that patients are really appreciative of the unique design of the hospital and they’re willing to pay more to go in this hospital rather than elsewhere.
However, although there’s not an abundance of it, there’s research showing the benefits of natural light and greenery in terms of recovery.
In fact, according to a 2008 study, patients with plants in their rooms experienced lower blood pressure and reported feeling less anxiety, tiredness, and pain than the patients who weren’t.
In 1984 study, it was found that rooms in hospitals with windows overlooking nature helped the patients recover from surgery faster than the ones who were facing brick walls.
All in all, with the increase of people around us falling ill, it’s vital to search for alternative methods of healing. Whether it’s alternative, nature or holistic, hospitals are taking such steps to make a collective shift.
As human beings, we are outdoorsy by nature and although it may seem we’ve been forgetting this, it’s key to step out into nature as it’s crucial to the future of our planet.
Spending time in nature isn’t just necessary when you’re ill, but it’s a vital part of our way of life.