HCMC offering culturally appropriate hair and skin care for patients

HCMC offering culturally appropriate hair and skin care for patients

HCMC offering culturally appropriate hair and skin care for patients

A local hospital is putting more thought into how they care for black and brown patients by including culturally appropriate hair and skin care.

Some patients of color told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS that this small change is making a big impact — especially when going through something like having a baby.

“You never know what reactions the baby’s gonna have to the atmosphere. You don’t know how your body’s gonna react,” said Victoria Agboola, a patient at HCMC.

But in the midst of all the stress, Agboola had to worry about her hair.

“Most African-American women, they get their hair done before they come into the hospital because we don’t have hair products,” said Agboola.

Agboola stated that she’s never walked into a hospital and seen products tailored to who she is before.

But that changed at Hennepin County Medical Center.

Agboola said she got a bag of hair and skin products that feel like home.

“I was in shock. I was like, ‘Oh, you guys have skin and hair care products for us?'” Agboola said.

“The product is giving us a chance to take better care of our patients,” said HCMC nurse Tshinanda Nyembwe.

For decades, nurses had to tell patients of color that HCMC did not have hair and skin products that worked for them.

“If they ask for something and you don’t have it, they kind of feel left out,” said Nyembwe

HCMC is focusing more on health equity by providing culturally sensitive care.

The goal is to meet the needs of black and brown patients beyond the needle by providing shampoos, hair care accessories and lotions tailored to their culture.

“When I would come in for treatment basically, some of the issues would be I couldn’t brush my hair,” said patient Ayotunde Akinwale-Ojo.

But this time around, a bag of products was waiting for him with everything from a hairbrush to conditioner.

These patients say hair care is a part of healthcare.

“If you want people to feel comfortable and feel accepted at the hospital? Yeah, get those products,” said Agboola