Anu Kivelä and Taina Steiner from Medanta met Alan Dilani in Helsinki. Dilani is a professor specialising in aesthetics in healthcare. Here are the three key points of their discussion, compiled by Anu and Taina.
1. Alan Dilani: “A belief in personal strength and resources helps patients and healthcare professionals cope.”
Anu Kivelä and Taina Steiner:
“This is our guiding principle. In healthcare, unfortunately, the comfort of clothing is still often overlooked, and patients must wear old-fashioned, poorly fitting clothes. It’s important for us to produce clothes that make use of the latest textile technologies and are comfortable to wear.
“The same applies to healthcare professionals: their work clothes often lack in comfort and are old-fashioned. When doctors and nurses are feeling good, they have more energy for their work. Their good spirits also make their colleagues and patients feel better.
“Modern, stylish work clothes also contribute to professional identity. They signal that the employer appreciates the employees’ professional skills and knowledge.”
2. Alan: “A feeling of safety promotes healing.”
Anu and Taina:
“Many patients are afraid of infections. Our work is based on safety at work and the safety of patients. Antimicrobial materials in employees’ and patients’ clothes prevent microbial growth and the spreading of hospital infections. In addition, antimicrobial surfaces on patients’ clothes prevent bedsores and unpleasant odours.”
3. Alan: “Colours have a powerful psychological effect.”
Anu and Taina:
“This is a very interesting perspective. We have often wondered why everything is so white in hospitals. When you fall ill, you are at your weakest. Colours bring joy.
“Not much attention has been paid to hospital clothes in Finland, and patients have not even been regarded as customers – just patients, faceless people with illnesses. Beautiful, colourful hospital and healthcare clothes are not just about aesthetics. They also promote healing and improve job satisfaction among healthcare professionals.
“Here at Medanta, we aim to break the conventions of traditional design.
We cooperate closely with our customers: we listen to their hopes and needs and customise the clothes accordingly.”