Terri Zborowsky is a nurse and design researcher at HGA, a multidisciplinary design firm rooted in architecture and engineering. Terri believes that the pandemic has permanently changed the way we look at staff spaces. On issues ranging from staff safety—including possible COVID-19 infection and death—to respite and break areas, frontline staff will now be at the table when design decisions are made.
In response to the shortage of hospital beds resulting from the coronavirus pandemic, HGA, in collaboration with The Boldt Company, recently created a prefabricated patient room solution called STAAT Mod™ (strategic, temporary, acuity-adaptable treatment module) for rapid deployment nationwide. Health care experts, including critical care nurses trained in COVID-19 protocols, a specialist in hospital environment infection control, and Lean process improvement engineers specializing in rapid construction and delivery, developed and tested the design using virtual reality (VR) simulation exercises.
In honor of the work being done by frontline staff—and in observance of the Year of the Nurse—HGA is rolling out a special series of publications on the ‘Impact of the Nurse on the Design of Healthcare Spaces.’ This will include interviews with frontline nurses on how COVID-19 has affected their well-being and how designers can help to provide areas of respite or frontline design elements to enhance their safety and security. Interviews will be posted on HGA’s website and shared on social media as each nurse is honored for their contribution.
Terri: “As design researchers, we will be adding additional staff wellbeing questions to our standardized questionnaire to better understand the impact that design has on the work environment of nurses. And finally, we will be elevating the need for staff respite spaces when working with our design teams and clients. We will never forget the sacrifice frontline staff have made and will forever advocate for their health and wellbeing.”