Tuesday, 5 June 2012

UBC Hospital & Its Underused Comforts

WE VISITED THE UNIVERSITY of British Columbia in Vancouver recently where a state of the art hospital is part of the educational facility. While my husband was receiving medical attention I wandered throughout the extensive area and took in the sights. I stepped into an empty chapel within the building that offered words of comfort.

When thinking of a letter beginning with "U", the university hospital came to mind as well as the underutilized comforts and quiet I found there.

Alongside serene scenes on the walls, a piano was quietly standing.

The silence was in stark contrast to the construction noise happening just outside the hospital doors.

The blooms along pathways were unfazed by the activity, although the upheaval of earth with big machinery dusted the wisteria nearby.

The flowers inside were less lively and seemed perfectly dusted.

Looking out the windows I saw a greenhouse on the lawn.

There was also a room to get a hair wash and new do at the hospital.

I noticed a pleasant patio just beyond this doorway.

It was tempting to sit in the comfy chair in one room filled to the ceiling with books at the Kathleen R. Taylor library.

The teaching and research facility does not function as fully as a typical general hospital but it does provide outpatient care and perform certain surgeries. There is also an extended care unit on the grounds. Yet aside from an occasional person being wheeled about by an attendant, the hallways and rooms I entered were oddly empty. This seemed ironic since the surrounding Vancouver population is large, waiting lists long and medical needs many.

I saw few people milling about the building that was clearly designed to treat body, mind and spirit. Even diagnostic tools such as MIR equipment seemed to lack the usual line up of patients waiting to be examined, despite the fact that people in BC must sometimes wait up to six months for similar tests if conditions are not immediately life threatening.

At the UBC hospital no one was getting their hair washed that morning, singing a tune to the beat of the piano, planting a seed in the greenhouse, getting spiritual counsel in the chapel or reading a book in the library. Nonetheless, I suspect the best of care was given to folks like my husband who was struck with a rare nerve/muscle disorder several months ago and is relying on the expertise of the specialists there.

Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms

This post showcases the letter "U" for UBC Hospital and underused. If you think words are fun and enjoy playing with the alphabet, visit ABC Wednesday.


  1. Looks like a great facility in so many ways and I enjoyed the tour. I have had similar experiences at hospitals where I found interesting places to explore and photograph. Whenever I go to a research hospital where I live, I try to go to the botanical garden which is close by at the same university. Carver, ABC-W Team

  2. it looks like a lovely hospital taking care of the spirit as well as the body. I do hope that the doctors will help your husband to make a full recovery very soon.

  3. It is an amazing facility, do you wonder if it was just a moment, or is it always under populated like that.

    I certainly hope that your husband is getting good care, they are the best.

    Wishing him a quick recovery.

    Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

  4. Hi Jen, Thanks for your good wishes. I’ve been to this facility a few times in the past and it always seemed a little quieter than a regular hospital. Perhaps this should be expected since it is a learning center as well as a hospital. And the doctors here must also devote their time to teaching at the university.

  5. seems like an understanding facility, not at all unfriendly.
    ROG, ABC Wednesday team

  6. I have been to this hospital several times and found it to be as you say, although there were many people around. Maybe it was just a moment in time and all was well just then. Lovely photos and narrative. Have a great week!

  7. in my part of the world, these are quite unique scenes in a hospital, especially the empty hallway. newer hospitals here have the amenities of a 5-star hotel, with salons and restaurants. i hope your husband is feeling better.

  8. Hello Penelope,

    I, too, have noticed that it is quieter than one might expect at this hospital, and that, as you say, is strange given the long wait times at other city hospitals. Your knack for finding small havens of beauty and peace wherever you go is one that I always admire and look forward to in your posts. The painting, the library, the hair salon, and the indoor flower were some of the photos that I especially enjoyed today. My thoughts are, and have been, very much with you and your husband as you search for the answer to this medical challenge. I hope University Hospital will put your Bill on the road to much improved health.

  9. Such empty hallways is unbelievable at the University Hospitals in my country. It is always bustling with outpatients but they don’t have to wait as long as half a year for another examination.

    When I was in hospital last autumn, I was happy with a clean shower room. Seeing from this post including the last flowers’ photo, you seem to have gentle, positive thinking about your husband’s disease. Surely he will get the right treatment to get better, I believe.

  10. Hospitals have come a long way... and mostly for the better.

  11. just watching Tabitha, the hair expert from Australia.

  12. Give him a hug from me and tell him I'm thinking of him.
    Nice tour of the facility at UBC. I was there for two nights in '89 to be tested for sleep problems, but I don't remember it being so pretty. Maybe I can go back for a do-over. :)
    Luv, K

  13. Aren't you clever to make even the UBC Hospital look charming?


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