As the first hospital in the Nordic region, Esbjerg Sygehus has recently acquired a cutting-edge scanner that performs full-body scans with lower doses of X-rays. In order to provide patients with a positive experience, the hospital has installed a specialized lighting system called Ergonomic Lighting. This colored light helps create a relaxing atmosphere and has a soothing effect on patients, according to the staff.
— The colored light is a hit with children, who find it cool, and it has a generally calming effect on our patients, especially those who may be nervous about their scans, explains Dorthe Bruun Vestergaard, radiographer.
Located at Esbjerg Hospital Emergency Reception Area, the scanner is open 24/7, providing round-the-clock access for patients.
Colored light distracts the mind and creates peace
The staff has the option to choose from a variety of different lighting settings and colors.
— I often choose a pink light because it creates a warm and calm atmosphere in the room. Some children like to have a colored light because it helps them think about something other than the scan they are undergoing, explains Anette Gadegård Andersen, radiographer.
Enhancing work environment and screen image
In addition to calming the patient, Ergonomic Lighting also has a range of benefits for the hospital's work environment. Connected to the scanner room is a reading room, where X-ray and scanning images are examined and described by radiologists. With long workdays spent in front of a screen, the details and contrasts in the images are crucial for making accurate diagnoses.
— Looking at digital images all day can be tough on the eyes. That's why lighting is so important. There should be no reflections or glare from the light in the images, explains Dr. Dorthe Ulrik Knudsen, a radiologist.
Easier on the eyes
In the scanner room, the green lighting setting in Ergonomic Lighting is often chosen. The green color enhances the contrasts in the image, while minimizing reflections. This leads to reduced eye strain, less tension and fatigue, and increased concentration among the staff.
— Many radiologists experience early vision impairment, so it's wonderful that someone is thinking about preserving our eyes for the future. The green light is extremely pleasant to work in. My eyes relax, explains Dorthe Ulrik Knudsen.
She and her colleagues have also noticed that the colored light is a significant improvement compared to working in the dark, as they used to do:
— We can have relatively bright lighting in the room today, while still having a good screen image. This means we can take notes without having to change the lighting, she says.
Multiple settings to choose from
The staff has the option to adjust the lighting as needed. For instance, a red light can be used to enhance contrasts in X-ray images, as the eye is better able to distinguish shades of gray in red lighting. During evening or night shifts, it may be beneficial to use a warm, golden light that does not contain blue colors in order to avoid disrupting the body's circadian rhythm. This warm, broad-spectrum light resembles fire or sunlight and does not interfere with the body's production of melatonin.
To create energy, the staff also has the option to choose a bright white light between procedures. This intense daylight is important during the midday hours to prepare for a restful night's sleep.
— We can have relatively bright lighting in the room today, while still maintaining a good screen image. This means we can take notes without having to adjust the lighting, explains Dorthe Ulrik Knudsen.
The Various Lighting Settings
A selection of the different lighting settings in both the scanner and reading room includes:
- Cleaning light/daylight simulation - powerful white light for cleaning and boosting energy
- Pink light - soothing light for during scans
- Green light - minimizes screen reflections and helps the eye relax
- Red light - highlights contrasts in X-ray images and reduces glare
- Warm light - supports the body's natural circadian rhythm during night and evening work