On a campus that seems to be completely under construction, it’s hard to keep track of what changes are to come and what changes have already come to pass. One such completed venture that seems to have passed under the radar in the midst of big projects, such as the rennovated Danforth or the plans for the new Warner School building, were the plans for interior renovations to University Health Services (UHS).
In the past, patients visiting UHS were not granted much privacy until they actually entered one of the nurses’ or physicians’ offices. Prior to gaining entry, however, patients were faced with a lack of confidentiality and personal space away from other students in the waiting room.
Anyone coming into the building and looking to check in for an appointment would find him or herself faced with the need to publically announce his or her reason for visiting UHS in front of anyone else in the waiting room. This was entirely due to the set up of the room, which had the check-in desk immediately attached to a completely open waiting room.
Furthermore, while sitting in this waiting room, patients would have the pleasure of being in close proximity to any number of contagions — as everyone was essentially just sitting in a big circle, facing each other.
Over the summer, the layout of the UHS waiting room got a facelift that positively affected not only the check-in desk but also the overall organization of the main waiting room. Now, the check-in desk is nestled in between two barrier walls, affording patients an appropriate sense of confidentiality when arriving at UHS. Additionally, the waiting room itself has been rearranged to create a series of more private areas where each chair only faces two or three other chairs, rather than an entirely open room. This will not only help reduce the spread of contact and airborne illnesses, but also allow patients the ability to more easily conceal any visible health issues from their peers (if they so desire).
Although this change went largely unmentioned prior to its enactment and has gone essentially unnoticed since the start of this school year, it is a modification that deserves recognition for its aptitude in providing a safe, comfortable, and sanitary environment for UR students.