Tag Archives: medicine

Stanford Medicine: Fostering Humanism Through PPE

PPE. Personal Protective Equipment. Such a cold and distant term, isn’t it? Due to the current social and regulatory environment stimulated by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this clinical term is rapidly becoming part of routine conversation in non-clinical settings. Are the service providers in your community (retail clerks, travel-industry personnel, bank tellers, automotive mechanics) wearing their PPE? Are you wearing yours?

A rallying-cry for 2020/2021 may well turn out to be something like Mask-Up-For-Health! However, with all of this masking that has been going-on, it may be argued that some essential components of human interaction are being lost. It is comforting to observe that some folks in the healthcare field have begun to consider and act on this possibility.

A team at Stanford Medicine and partnered with The Arnold P. Gold Foundation and Occidental College have asked: How can we foster humanism in medicine, when the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) is required and providers don masks, glasses and gowns to protect their eyes, noses, and mouths from COVID-19?

Now there is an excellent and necessary question.

ppe

Lead: Cati Brown-Johnson, PhD

Team: Mary Beth Heffernan, Paige Parsons, Juliana Baratta, Alexis Amano, Mae Verano, Cynthia Perez

The team states that, “We believe PPE Portraits may support patient care and health, and even healthcare team function and provider wellness.

PPE Portraits are one possible solution: disposable provider portrait picture stickers (4×5) affixed to PPE where patients can see them. Our brief pilot showed signs of interest and adoption: a participating physician requested PPE Portraits at their clinic and masked medical assistant team-members required PPE Portraits to wear over scrubs.

How does it work? The Stanford Medicine team is taking a position that it is not unlike how a placebo works, ” we know that provider warmth and competence are positively associated with health at the biological level. Personal protective equipment (PPE) signals competence; portraits could be one of the only signals of warmth for patients who have, or may have, COVID-19. PPE Portraits are disposable portrait picture stickers (4×5 inches) put on PPE that can help patients and providers form a personal connection to positively impact patient health.

In a Smithsonian article, the project is described as “a way to reintroduce the aesthetic of kindness into patient care“. Fostering humanism is fostering an aesthetic of kindness. No surprise to the humanistfreedoms.com team!

The concept has been with Heffernan since at least 2014, based on an article on hyperallergic.com. Journalist Laura C. Mallonee quoted Heffernan as saying about an ebola epidemic in the news at the time, “Wouldn’t they be less frightening if the person on the inside was pictured on the outside?

A humanist approach could make a pandemic less frightening? No surprise to the humanistfreedoms.com team! Good ideas deserve to be shared.

Health care workers
Photo Courtesy of SmithosianMag.com (reference below)

If you are affiliated-with or aware-of an institution whose clientele may benefit by a PPE portraits launch or by participating in ongoing research, you may wish to consider contacting Cati Brown-Johnson or Mary Beth Heffernan.

If you found this article interesting, you may also wish to see these earlier articles:

  1. Critically Thinking About COVID 19 – Part I
  2. Critically Thinking About COVID 19- Part II
  3. Gold Humanism Society Inducts Class of 2021

Sources, Citations and References

  1. Featured Photo Courtesy of https://med.stanford.edu/pcph/research/ppe-project.html
  2. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/health-worker-portraits-buoy-spirits-covid-19-patients-180974681/
  3. https://hyperallergic.com/199732/picturing-the-people-inside-ebola-hazmat-suits/

The views, opinions and analyses expressed in the articles on Humanist Freedoms are those of the contributor(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the publishers.

Gold Humanism Society Inducts Class of 2021

UC faculty, residents and medical students honored for delivery of care, compassion and teaching

The UC College of Medicine’s Gold Humanism Honor Society Chapter, sponsored by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation, will induct the GHHS class of 2021 and present several humanism awards to residents and faculty during a virtual ceremony available online Wednesday, May 20.

Dr. Melissa Klein, professor in the UC Department of Pediatrics and Cincinnati Children’s physician, will be recognized as the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Faculty honoree. Klein will officially be presented the award, which recognizes a College of Medicine faculty member who best demonstrates outstanding compassion in the delivery of care, as well as clinical excellence.

Fourth-year medical student, Caroline Hensley is the recipient of the Leonard Tow Student Award this year.  Dr. Melissa Klein

Dr. Melissa Klein/photo submitted

The purpose of the Gold Humanism Honor Society (GHHS) is to promote a culture of humanism in the practice of medicine by publicly recognizing students, residents, and faculty whose clinical competence and professionalism include exceptional humanistic behavior and commitment to service. 

Each spring, the UC College of Medicine’s chapter of GHHS recognizes those students who at the end of their third year have demonstrated exemplary attitudes and behaviors characteristic of the most humanistic physicians: integrity, excellence, compassion, altruism, respect, empathy, and service.

Twenty-six students will be inducted into GHHS: Sarah Appeadu, Rachel Azriel, Matt Byrne, Saige Camara, Margaret Carney, Thomas Daley, Adam Darwiche, Hagar Elgendy, Olivia Gobble, Caroline Horton, Kristen Humphrey, Basil Jafri, Jun Kim, Shawn Krishnan and Derrick Lin. 

Other inductees will include Sarah Marshall, Katherine Melink, Kevin Milligan, Jasmine Prince, Mia Samaha, Alex Schoenberger, Santiago Serna, Dylan Sexton, Zach St. Clair, Vanessa Wagner and Max Yang.Caroline Hensley

Caroline Hensley/photo submitted

All students were nominated by their peers and faculty as students who best exemplify integrity, compassion, altruism, respect, empathy and a dedication to service. Their awards will be presented by Laura Malosh, assistant dean of student affairs, during the virtual ceremony on Wednesday, May 20.

Finally, the society will recognize two residents with the Arnold P. Gold Humanism Teaching Awards this year. It recognizes outstanding humanistic teaching residents as identified by their students. Third year medical students select residents to receive The Arnold P. Gold Foundation Humanism and Excellence in Teaching Award, based on their exceptional teaching skills and commitment to the compassionate treatment of patients and families, students and colleagues. This year the M3 class recognized Dr. Young King, Department of Surgery and Dr. Megan Sax, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.Dr. Megan Sax

Dr. Megan Sax/photo by Colleen Kelley of UC Creative + BrandDr. Young King

Dr. Young Kim/photo by UC Department of Surgery

Original article by Cedric Ricks re-published from University of Cincinnati News