Sumary of Health workers with religious beards experiencing professional discrimination amid COVID-19, UK study finds:
- The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic continues to rage across the globe, leaving few lives untouched by its many dramatic effects and its major ramifications on public health, economic vitality, and society’s welfare – not least, a recent study suggests, those working in healthcare..
- Health workers have been on the frontline of the ongoing health crisis, working hard to save lives from the virus..
- It comes as no surprise, then, that many healthcare workers have been negatively affected by a plethora of both primary and knock-on effects of the pandemic..
- A new study conducted by researchers across the UK has looked at how male health workers with religious beards have been affected by workplace practices during the pandemic..
- The researchers from Stepping Hill Hospital in Stockport, UK, sought to determine some of the effects on male healthcare workers who had been asked to remove their beards in light of personal protective equipment (PPE) policies, particularly strict mask fit-testing stipulations..
- In many healthcare facilities in the United Kingdom, there has been a disproportionate effect on individuals from Black, Asian, and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds..
- Subsequently, there has been much debate on the reasons why exactly it is that minority groups have been affected, including the availability of PPE for healthcare workers in general..
- First, it is hard to test the mask’s effectiveness on all the healthcare staff, which leads to the potential wastage of vital supplies..
- They were asked questions regarding the challenges they faced with the use of PPEs, mask fit testing, and their employers’ and co-workers’ attitudes towards their facial hair..
- The research team found that the healthcare workers experienced professional discrimination through fit testing rejection, unavailability or inadequate PPR, and subsequent pressure to shave their beards..
- “Discrimination against staff is linked to poorer outcomes for patients, and little progress has been made in the last two decades on this front,”…