No one particularly enjoys a visit to the doctor, but there are steps that medical offices can take to make the experience less unpleasant for patients. Hanging attractive art on the walls and providing comfortable seating are two ways to make the waiting room more soothing, but music can play a part as well. There are several reasons that calming music in the lobby can have a beneficial effect.
1- Reduces Anxiety
Patients and the family or friends who accompany them on a medical visit may be anxious. Soothing music can reduce that anxiety. Studies have shown that this appears to be the case in a variety of different types of medical offices, including those that treat psychiatric disorders. Soothing music worked better than other types of music, and patients who had relaxing music to listen to reported less anxiety than those who were given magazines to read with no music and those who had neither music nor reading material.
2- Creates Privacy
Patients and the people who accompany them in a medical office may want to be able to speak quietly and privately to one another to discuss things such as the patient’s diagnosis or their concerns. Anyone who has ever sat in a silent room with other people around knows how difficult it can be to try to conduct a private conversation without feeling as though everyone else is listening. Relaxing music provides just enough background noise to create some of this privacy without being so loud that the two cannot hear one another. It also protects them from accidentally eavesdropping on other patients and hearing potentially upsetting or private information.
3- Good for Staff
In offices where employees do not need to interact with the public, they may be able to slip on headphones and enjoy music. However, in a medical office, where workers are constantly talking to patients and to one another, this is not possible. Playing relaxing and unobtrusive music allows them to still listen to music while being able to perform their tasks. In addition, well-chosen music in the background can have similar effects on employees that it does on patients, helping them to feel calmer and more focused.
4- Creates a Positive Environment
While nothing is more important for a person visiting a doctor than the doctor’s expertise and ability to treat what is troubling them, no one wants to sit in a lobby that is ugly and dirty with rude staff. Calming music is one way to create a waiting area that has more positive associations for patients.
5- Serves as a Distraction
Sometimes, the best way to deal with anxiety is simply to pay attention to something else, and calming music in a waiting room provides this. Whether the music has lyrics or is instrumental, it offers everyone in the lobby a distraction from rumination.
The time spent waiting for an appointment in a medical facility for even minor issues can provoke anxiety. Relaxing music can provide multiple benefits for patients and encourage them to see the visit to the medical office as a more pleasant experience.