Healing and the healthcare environment: redesigning the hemodialysis centre at Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba

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Gougeon, Monique A.
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Stress within healthcare environments can be the result of uncertainty, illness, or the environment itself. In order to promote better health outcomes for dialysis users, scientific literature advocates stress reduction within healthcare environments. Dialysis patients are subject to numerous stressors, including the threat of potential losses and lifestyle change. Studies have revealed that patients who suffer from chronic illness perceive different levels of quality of life than those who are considered healthy and because of these lifestyle changes they employ various coping mechanisms when dealing with stress. There is a rising movement to mitigate stress through the use of holistic healing, an approach that addresses a person’s mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual elements to create a total healing environment. In accordance with this growing movement, the intent of this practicum is to create an outpatient centre for Manitoba’s dialysis patients that increases their perceived quality of life. The inquiry process began by questioning dialysis patients and conducting observational research at the Winnipeg Health Sciences Centre. Literature and precedent reviews were conducted, and the design programme was developed. The result of this research-based design proposal is an outpatient hemodialysis centre located within the Winnipeg Health Sciences Centre that helps mitigate stress while patients attempt to cope with lifestyle changes. The resulting design is one that is warm, welcoming, home-like and comfortable, which is supported by the theories explained in the literature review. This environment provides a greater sense of control, creates positive distractions and allows spiritually evoking opportunities to take place for all users of this new facility.
Design, Healthcare environments, Holistic healing, Dialysis, Hemodialysis