Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust intensive care sister Ginny Wanjiro first noticed it during the first wave of the pandemic.
“Minority groups were hit very hard in the first wave, with so many patients coming to our door,” said Wanjiro, a day after completing a series of night shifts at a central London hospital. I explained it in a video call.
“Yes they had Covid but on top of Covid they were in terrible condition. I felt like I did a little damage by cutting people’s hair.”
Remembering how his father looked before he died in his family’s native Kenya, Manjiro, who has lived in England for 30 years, is determined to help his patients look good to their relatives. zoom.
“This might be the last time I talk to him or her, so I wanted to go the extra mile to make sure their faces look good.”
With only the plastic fine-toothed combs provided by the NHS, staff had to procure their own tools to be able to detangle the afro hair.
When Wanjiro learned that even experienced nurses had never learned how to care for minority hair, this was a great opportunity to improve their skills and improve their patients’ health in the process. I noticed that.
The hospital approved a three-month trial during which 20 nurses were trained, with more joining each day to care for the hair of about 250 patients.
“It’s all about the basics of care,” explains Wanjiro. “I mean, patients. looks different. What did you do?'”
It is especially important to stay vigilant in the ICU ward.
“When you walk into an intensive care unit, you feel, ‘Oh my God, this is the end.’ We want to change that perspective,” says Manjiro. “If it boosts your morale because we’re trying to make our patients look good, why wouldn’t they want to survive? It’s not the end of their lives, let’s be honest, when they come I’m going home to look even better than I did.”
Hair and skin care training was informal and knowledge was passed from nurse to nurse.
“I talk to the nurse and ask her, ‘Have you combed the patient’s hair?’ Training is sometimes provided bedside.”
Following the trial, a review is currently underway to determine whether the initiative can be rolled out more broadly across the Trust and the NHS.
“We have more knowledge, we have more skills, and now we have more equipment to do what we want with our patients,” she said. “I hope all hospitals in the UK have the right tools for every patient when they open the door.”