Posted by: Ken Wheatley | January 29, 2008

Place Matters

I wanted to comment separately about the effect “place” has on healing. It didn’t dawn on me until today when I first visited UCSD’s cancer center. What a difference from Scripps.

 Perhaps it’s not fair to compare because Scripps is an older facility and it shows, but the reality is that when you’re confronted with a life-threatening illness, you’ll take whatever edge you can. The Scripps facility is sterile, windowless for the most part and basically depressing. You feel the weight of sickness when you’re in the building.

What struck me at UCSD was the airiness of the facility. Lots of windows, high ceiling. It even seemed to make the staff friendlier. We’ve definitely had our challenges at Scripps with the admin staff in some departments.

The exam rooms were even bigger, as was the waiting room. The infusion department where chemo is administered is also quite roomy. There’s space for me to sit comfortably without being in the way, unlike Scripps.

Across from the oncology department is a bamboo garden. Very relaxing. Plus bamboo is one of my favorite plants.

So overall, the “space,” the roominess, the plants, and the uplifting environment give a very calming, encouraging sensation.


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