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Recently, I gave a Skype lecture to a group of interior design students at The Ohio State University about the healthcare design industry.  Amazingly, the technology worked and I was able to share my presentation with them from my home office in the Chicago area.

View the presentation, “All You Ever Wanted to Know About the Healthcare Design Industry.”

Afterwards, a student emailed me and asked for some ideas for building a healthcare design resume to get a job. Here are the 7 suggestions I gave him, some of which can also work for design professionals wishing to get into healthcare:

  1. Get EDAC certified – you’ll stand out over other job applicants if you have this credential and they don’t
  2. Submit an entry in Healthcare Environment Awards Competition Student or Conceptual Design category
  3. Get an internship at a healthcare design firm or healthcare furniture manufacturer – find the top firms by looking at annual rankings published by Modern Healthcare and Interior Design
  4. Become a Student or Individual Affiliate of The Center for Health Design – ask them if they have any volunteer opportunities
  5. Update your LinkedIn profile and join some healthcare design-related groups
  6. Attend the Healthcare Design conference  – student and day rates are available; some work opportunities may also be available for students in exchange for free registration; interior design students may want to check out Neocon as well
  7. Find a mentor already in the healthcare design field – use this person for advice, ideas, etc.

One more thought about internships.  WHR Architects is one of the few firms I know of that has a formal program for aspiring healthcare architects.  Its Tradewell Fellowship is a year-long program for graduates of accredited architectural programs.

The American Academy of Healthcare Interior Designers/Nurture Graduate Research Fellowship is another opportunity for design students to contribute to the body of knowledge and connect with industry leaders.

Are there others that you know of?

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Bill C.

7 years ago

Get involved on forums and participate in Blogs like yours. I think volunteering has merit – understand the view of the patients family and the staff.
Great coaching – thanks Sara.

David Hronek

7 years ago

Another suggestion would be to take classes at one of several Schools of Architecture now offering a “healthcare track” in their design curriculum. I’m not sure how many of them are offering a specialty major for professionals that want to hone skills in the healthcare market or begin from scratch. It used to be that Clemson University and Texas A&M were pioneers in this area and several of our nations top healthcare designers are graduates of either program. But with the aging population and advances in medical research, healthcare design will always have a thriving market of new or renovation projects. http://www.healthcarefineart.com/2009/04/top-5-schools-for-healthcare-architecture.html

Sara Marberry

7 years ago

Thanks, David. My intention for this post was mostly for architecture and design students studying healthcare design and interested in practicing it. And, although Clemson and Texas A&M have long established programs, there are many other schools now offering programs or curricula in healthcare design (Kansas, Arizona State, University of Illinois to name just a few).

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Sara Marberry, EDAC, is a healthcare design knowledge expert, thought catalyst, and strategic marketing and business development consultant. The author/editor of three books, Sara writes and speaks frequently about industry trends and evidence-based design. She can be reached at sara@saramarberry.com.

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