Mak­ing ac­com­mo­da­tions

Modern Healthcare - - OPINIONS / LETTERS -

Mod­ern Health­care’s ar­ti­cle on di­ver­sity, “Mak­ing room for faith” (July 29, p. 18), is a timely primer that should be in­cluded in all health­care fa­cil­ity staff ori­en­ta­tions and an­nual up­date train­ing.

Health­care fa­cil­ity staff also need to be­ware of those sud­den-no­tice “gotcha” sit­u­a­tions such as those that have con­fronted me when teach­ing Amer­i­can Red Cross train­ing classes af­ter-hours. Evening and week­end classes are usu­ally when most fa­cil­ity man­age­ment and per­son­nel staff have al­ready gone home and are not eas­ily reach­able for pol­icy con­sul­ta­tions.

Mus­lim stu­dents might ask you for com­pass-point di­rec­tions, then for a car­peted floor where they can ori­ent them­selves to­ward Mecca, where they can prac­tice one of their five-times-a-day Is­lamic prayers dur­ing class break times. Side rooms or break rooms are usu­ally close to the train­ing class­rooms and of­ten can pro­vide the needed space for in­di­vid­u­als to kneel on car­peted floors.

Mus­lim stu­dents also might ask you about the avail­abil­ity of stim­u­lant-free re­fresh­ments when­ever vend­ing ma­chines or eater­ies are not on site or nearby. There’s al­ways the one bev­er­age ac­cept­able world­wide that does not of­fend any faith: wa­ter. It’s al­most al­ways read­ily avail­able from hall­way wa­ter foun­tains in a given fa­cil­ity.

Health­care fa­cil­ity man­agers need to re­al­ize how easy it is to pro­vide zero-cost “rea­son­able ac­com­mo­da­tions.”

Don­ald White Di­rec­tor of safety and se­cu­rity North­ern Vir­ginia Men­tal Health In­sti­tute

Falls Church

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