We feature two more speakers we have invited to present at the sixth annual Mental Health Symposium on Saturday the 27th of May, with the theme, "I can relate to that." We hope you will find these topics of great interest and mark your calendar to attend the symposium.
“Virtual Windows: Design solutions to improve the mental health of clinical staff" is the title of Dr. Anderson’s presentation, beginning at 3:00pm US Pacific time. Although recent versions of design guidelines for healthcare facility construction provide minimum standards for patient rooms to have windows, no guidelines currently exist to ensure clinical staff areas have access to light or views, whether real or virtual. Recent studies have shown that physicians-in-training experience high rates of burnout and depression. Can design of the environment soften the metaphor of the hospital as a battleground for trainees?
Views and images, either real or virtual, should be considered just as important for the clinical staff as they are for patients. Although newer buildings may emphasize a narrower floor-plate to maximize this window access, many older facilities maintain deeper floor plans required for diagnostic and procedural programs where light may be difficult to capture. In these cases the provision for virtual windows or views would be beneficial.
The importance of the virtual window for healthcare staff considers mental health in addition to physical health. Some association has been shown between rotating night shift nursing work and the risk of coronary heart disease, although further research is needed to explore whether the association is related to specific work hours and individual characteristics. Through case studies and evidence-based research examples, design implications of using virtual windows and their potential impact on the wellbeing of healthcare staff will be explored during this session.
Dr. Edman was the Director of Integrative Nutrition and Associate Research Director for the Myrna Brind Center of Integrative Medicine, Thomas Jefferson University and Hospital (Pennsylvania, US). A Fellow of the American College of Nutrition, he specializes in teaching and coaching about the most effective use of nutritional and integrative health therapies for everything from chronic and complex symptoms and disorders to wellness and disease prevention. He has developed nutrition, lifestyle and integrative health programs for individuals with heart disease risk factors, neuropsychological disorders, cancer, gastrointestinal disorders and other diagnoses. His consultations and coaching programs focus on approaches that are individually tailored to the unique needs and characteristics of each person or group.
The full schedule for the symposium hosted by Virtual Ability, Inc.®, can be seen in this previous post. It is free and open to the public.