New building design – looking for examples, thoughts, likes/dislikes

  1. My district is in the planning stages of a new 7-12 building (we currently have separate 7-8 and 9-12 buildings). I have been invited to meet with the architects tomorrow to discuss health services. I would love any feedback that you can share.

    Do you work in a new building? What do you like/dislike? Are you able to share a photo of your workspace?

    Do you work in a combined middle/high building? If so, what are your thoughts on the nurses being located together versus separate? Is it better for the 7-8 nurse to be located near the 7-8 office/counselors, rather than located with the 9-12 nurse?

    If you have a traditional building, what would you want to keep or change?

    Thank you for any input!
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  2. 15 Comments

  3. by   AdobeRN
    No advice - just want to tell you how lucky you are to get to be involved with the design/planning of your space. Whoever designed the nurse space in our buildings didn't know what they were doing - LOL - so much unusable, poorly designed & wasted areas, not enough storage/cabinets all the way down to the placement of electrical/internet lines - makes no sense at all.
  4. by   ruby_jane
    Good question! My three-story building has me by the cafeteria, not near the office. If I was redoing this I'd put me nearer the office. But not in the secretaries' pockets.

    You're going to need a lot of beds for 7-12. I have four cots for 2400 9-12. Some days it's not enough. Most days it's fine.

    Lots of cabinets. I have three locking med cabinets with three shelves apiece (one is daily and emergency, one is PRN, one is diabetic supplies). I wish for a fourth one most years.
  5. by   dakotadenise
    We are doing the same thing, only are a year ahead of you! We are building a new K-12 building and last year was our planning year (will be living in construction for 2 years now as they are building the new building on our same site).

    I won't go into what I dislike, because my current office is the best they could do with the construction, it is very lacking in most every area, but it will do for 2 years.

    When I met with the architects we discussed:

    More space for cots. I asked for two, they said three was standard in new offices. Woohoo!
    Storage! and More Storage! I'm getting lots of cabinets and built ins and I requested that half of them be lockable. Principals just said make them all lockable. Win again!
    Separate office from the actual health assesment area. I really didn't feel I needed this, but it will be nice, and I will offer it up to any nursing/breastfeeding mom we have.
    I requested that a light above one of my cots have a dimming feature for my migraine kids. They had never heard of this, but thought it a good idea.
    Private bathroom. It will be attached to my office, however it will be used by office staff also. That's ok too - only about 5 of them.

    Since we are K-12, it is hard for me to be centrally located. It was decided I will be by the Elementary side near the front office/principal/counselor. The high school/middle school can still easily get to me, it will just be a longer walk.

    Have fun with it! I loved getting to have input and I still look over my office plans now and then and can't wait until its done!
  6. by   OldDude
    The clinic should be attached to the front office/administration area in a manner that the connecting door could always remain open but not allow a line of sight into the clinic from passersby. This connecting door would not be the main entrance to the clinic but would always provide an "ear" in the next room if you need assistance or if you need a "stat" witness. Ideally, the main entrance door should remain open unless individual situations dictate otherwise. There should be some type of privacy curtain at the main entrance so students, parents, and staff walking by can't see who is in the clinic but which can be removed if you need to get a wheelchair or stretcher in and out of the clinic. I have a tri-folding curtain at my door which I have folded into an "L" shape so there isn't a view into my clinic from either direction. This is the way my clinic is situated and the only way I would work as a school nurse. I am never "completely" alone with a student in my clinic because my connecting door is always open to the front office; especially since I am a guy. There are other clinics in our district that are completely isolated and away from the front...no way for me.

    Of course you need a private restroom, with a safety shower, in there and you need an additional sink that is not in the restroom.

    Just some of my thoughts.
  7. by   Flare
    With that large span of grades, i would push for 2 small bathrooms within your office if they can swing it, lots of counters and cabinets and a closet for storage of supplies in excess and things too big to want to keep out (like the magnified lamp in you have one). Oh and don't forget room for a fridge (bonus if the give you lots of room and run you a line for an ice maker in that fridge's freezer!... now i'm just dreaming!!)
  8. by   NutmeggeRN
    Lots of counter and storage, locks imbedded in doors of cabinets, a large fridge, an ice maker, a utility sink vs a standard sink, an eye wash station, 2 separate toilets if possible,a shower (all wheelchair accessible)

    Dream big!
  9. by   dd_txlvn
    I am in a fairly new office. I like my lay-out because I can lock my office when I'm gone, but my clinic can remain open for bathroom access. My only complaint is I do not have a closet. I bought a small cabinet and I keep the extra clothes in plastic bins, but a closet would be bonus! So, make sure they don't forget your closet!
    Oops! I have 2 complaints. I am making ice with individual ice trays, so push for a fridge with an ice maker, or a free standing ice maker. Sometimes, head wounds and ice cubes just don't mix.
  10. by   JenTheSchoolRN
    What is student size of your school.

    I work in one building that is 7-12, and I am the nurse for all those grades. But they are separated into a middle school (7-8) and high school, which means I have two principals and two sets of teachers and two sets of rules to engage with. My total student load is 500. I'm guessing you have a lot more!

    I only have 1 cot, but wish I had room for more! And I'm in the basement, no where near the main office, which isn't the best. In an ideal world, the health office would be near the main office and have two rooms - one for the nurse to assess and back room with a few cots for students that need them for privacy. Also an amply supply closet, attached private bathroom, and a sink (that isn't in the bathroom). Also a water bottle setup (like Poland Spring or filtered water/etc) for drinking water for students.

    In my previous job, I long termed subbed at a school where grades Pre-K through 8 were in the small building, but broken into an elementary school (Pre-K through 5) and middle school (6-8). One nurse's office served both, covering ~1400 students. 2 nurses staffed the office thankfully. The office was in the literal middle of the two school and connected to both main offices. It had four large rooms - office for the nurses with two desks, assessment room with cots, waiting room, and supply/filing cabinet area (also where the fridge was). It also had 2 private restrooms. I loved it!
  11. by   aprilmoss
    I got lucky a few years back. They renovated our building and some of the space (part of the old gym complex, of course the new construction provided a new gym) was renovated into the health suite. What I got out of it was a dedicated office for myself. And three rooms. I use one as a sort of generic holding room for the kids who want to lie down. The other I use for isolating the cases I think are more serious and the third I use as a exam room.

    What was a real plus is I got rooms allocated for other people. The speech, OT, and PT specialists got a set of rooms for themselves and a changing room for the diapered students. These had all been colocated with me in the old health room.
    Last edit by aprilmoss on Dec 7
  12. by   tining
    Quote from dakotadenise
    Separate office from the actual health assesment area. I really didn't feel I needed this, but it will be nice, and I will offer it up to any nursing/breastfeeding mom we have.
    You could use that room for isolation area & hearing test area!

    My old school was brand new and I had 0 drawers; so at least 1 bank of drawers, the only drawers I had were in my desk. I also had a privacy curtain which was great to keep the looky loo's down. I had a separate small sink, but the paper towels were not at the sink.

    I have a rolling locking tool chest that is my "Med Cart" save an area for that if interested. My meds, binders, and purse can all roll out the door for evacuation & fire drills - no more scrambling - there is even room for first aid supplies!
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  13. by   Windchaser22
    I have windows that open and a back door to the outside. Win!
  14. by   ladybugsea
    Thank you all for your input, it is helpful and I appreciate your time!

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