Designing your clinic
– Dr.Manish Bhatia
This work deals with the physical necessities of opening a homeopathic clinic/office A broad idea about the things required, architectural and ‘vaastu’ considerations and interior designing is given here. The individual requirements may vary according to the kind, size, and location of your practice. The sections below try to cover the basics to suit everyone.
The Size & Space :
The first requirement is that of an office space. A homeopathic practice can be started in a very small space. Some of the most beautiful offices I have seen, have been among the smallest that I have seen. You can start your clinic in as small a space as 90 sq. feet! More is more better!! If you do not have separate rooms for dispensing and waiting then you can create partitions (aluminum, glass, wood) within a room to compartmentalize everything. This also helps to give a sense of privacy to the patient in your office.
The Furniture :
The furniture in your office will again depend on the space available and the money you spend. The basic thing to remember is that the furniture should be comfortable enough for all the patients. I will divide this section in three parts –
The Physician Chamber :
1. A table and chair for the doctor/homeopath. A homeopath needs to sit for quite a long time so the chair should be comfortable with proper back-support and preferably reclining so that you can lean back at times!
2. A patient stool
3. Couple of chairs for the patient attendants
4. A bookshelf
5. An examination table (if you have enough space and qualification)
The Dispensing Room/Pharmacy Section :
You will need this section only if you store and dispense homeopathic medicines from your own clinic. If you write prescriptions to be taken from a homeopathic pharmacist, then you can skip this one.
The basic requirement in this section is of wooden or metal racks to store medicines. The racks need to be specially designed (step-design) to use the maximum available space as there are very large number of homeopathy medicines. There should be separate closed racks for storing extra stocks and some odorous medicines and mother tinctures. The medicines should be stored in such a way that they are not exposed to direct sunlight or excessive heat.
The Waiting Room :
The waiting room should not have much furniture. A setti or couple of chairs or a sofa should do. The furniture should be comfortable enough. You can also keep a center-table and a magazine rack, if space and budget permits you.
Medical Instruments :
Even a homeopath needs some basic medical instruments to examine the patient. The least one should have on one’s clinic are –
4. Tongue depressor
What instruments you use, will depend upon the type of patients you see (or are allowed to see) and the qualification you have.
In addition, if you can afford a computer, then you must have one on your clinic. There are specialized Homeopathy software available in the market which make the task of patient management, repertorisation and case-analysis very easy. You can have access to large number of Homeopathy books at your fingertips if you use any major Homeopathy software or encyclopedia.
Color Scheme :
The colors should be preferably kept light. My favourite are white, cream, pale-yellow, pale shades of lemon, and sky-blue. Dark colors like red, brown, black, dark blue and dark green should be avoided as they are usually not considered soothing. Dark colors are also known to aggravate various moods and emotions. Moreover, when you use light shades, the space appears more ‘open’ and ‘bigger’.
Whatever may be the color of your walls, try to keep the ceiling white. It is necessary for good and uniform illumination of your office. The curtains, furniture and other interiors should match with the walls. They should ‘blend-in’ and not ‘standout’.
Try to have a fresh and lively feeling to your interiors. Do not use dim lights or colored lights. You can keep some plants, an aquarium or even a small fountain to make the interiors soothing. What you use will depend upon your space and budget. Whatever may be your space or budget, try to keep things and designs simple. Design your office keeping your patients in mind. The patient should feel relaxed when he/she comes to your office.
Architectural Considerations :
Although most office space in big cities is designed by architects these days, while looking for an office space you should keep the following points in your mind –
- The ceiling height should be at least 10 feet.
- Whenever possible, chose an office space with proper ventilation and lighting. If possible, your clinic should have at least one window to help the sunlight and fresh air in.
- If your office is not on the ground floor then it should be easily accessible to everyone including disabled people.
Vaastu Considerations :
‘Vaastu’ is an old Indian architectural science which helps to create ‘positive energy’ in your building/home/office by following certain principles. Vaastu itself is a very big science and it is not possible to go into detail discussions here. I will try to list some key features that can make your work place more auspicious, healthy and full of positive energy as per the Vaastu principles.
- A square or rectangular office should be preferred. Offices with round walls, rhomboids, and irregular shapes should be avoided.
- Offices facing towards East or North are considered more auspicious.
- According to vaastu principles, the physician should sit in the southwest corner, preferably facing east or north.
- The patient should sit either facing South or West.
- The medicines should be stored/dispensed in the Northwest corner.
- The electricity switches should ideally be in the Southeast corner.
- If you are religious enough to keep any symbol of your religious faith in your office, then it should be kept in the Northeast corner.
All these suggestions are based on the vaastu principles. They may help you to bring positive energies and good luck to your business. But at the end, your own commitment and passion for Homeopathy and your own positive energies are going to count the most!
What Not to Keep on Your Clinic :
If you store and dispense medicines from your clinic then there are certain things that you should avoid keeping in your clinic like
- any strongly odorous substance like perfumes, incense etc.
- camphor and other volatile substances.
- any radioactive object (!)
The Final Words :
When you have fixed the space for your clinic, then before you start furnishing, create a paper-design first. Try to make the maximum use of the available space. If your space allows you to follow the Vaastu concepts, you can use them. You can keep the above points in mind and spice it with your own aesthetic sense to create your own homeopathic universe! Good Luck!
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