Coffee culture pervades every aspect of life—from the home to the office and everywhere in between. One place of work that also embraces some aspects of home, is the hospital. Coffee fits beautifully into a hospital culture by virtue of both its workplace advantages and its homestyle comforts. Here are five ways better coffee makes for a better—and safer—hospital environment.
- Staff are more alert and energized.
Doctors, nurses and other hospital staff depend on coffee to keep their engines running. Often assigned 24- or 36-hour shifts, these soldiers of the health care industry depend on the energy caffeine provides for stamina and focus.
- The psychology of coffee.
The smell of coffee equates with a feeling of comfort. And coffee’s psychology isn’t just head games—it’s been shown that holding a warm cup of coffee helps us feel warmer and more relaxed around strangers. Study participants holding a cup of coffee judged others as more welcoming and trustworthy—just the thing when a patient is being asked to trust her well-being to a team of doctors and nurses she has never met before.
- The hospital coffee shop—a destination.
Patients may appreciate the aroma of coffee, but their loved ones may find it even more necessary while they wait. The ubiquitous hospital coffee shop is destination number one for friends and family who need a restful place to wait (and the better the coffee, the easier that wait becomes)—not to mention the reassurance of a cup of dependably good coffee on a day filled with the unexpected.
- A professional exterior.
Patients and families are likely to be on edge while in the hospital—it’s a place designed to help fix health problems. In this state of mind—that’s when the little things start to matter more than usual. High quality coffee speaks volumes— it conveys that a hospital cares enough to buy quality products; it makes for a comforting experience in the waiting room, the place that sends perhaps more subliminal messages than any other about the hospital’s professionalism; and it promotes positive feelings for the simple reason that, unlike bad coffee, good coffee puts people in a good mood.
- Superior coffee makes staff happier.
Coffee and its power to connect have a proven effect on employee morale, which is why most hospitals provide it, but higher morale doesn’t necessarily mean happiness. For a younger generation of workers raised on espresso drinks, the coffee bar is high, and workplaces of all kinds only increase their likelihood of employee productivity by investing in high quality beans, clean and professional brewing equipment, and a reasonable amount of options for drink “enhancement” (cream, sugar, etc.).
Can a hospital staff function on basic coffee? Of course. But the goal of a workplace, especially one as important as a hospital, is not just to function—it’s to thrive.