A series of seminars held in conjunction with the Institute of Advanced Study. The next seminar in the series, entitled 'Humanising Hospital Design' will be given by Professor Wil Gesler on March 5th. 5th March 2009 Prof. Wil Gesler, University of North Carolina, USA Research into and assessment of the influence of hospital design features on the well-being of users and staff has mainly focused on clinical goals and physical environments. A study by a team of health geographers of an acute mental health care unit in East London shifts the focus toward non-clinical goals and both social and symbolic environments.
Summary of Series ‘Humanising Practice', is a deliberately ambiguous title, acknowledging that while professional practice can be a humanising activity, it often stands in need of humanisation itself. Humanising practice is an intervention that is compassionate and respects peoples' dignity. Yet while an injunction to treat service users with dignity is embedded in the ethical codes of most professions, dehumanising influences regularly impact upon the daily routines, institutional structures (including the built environment) and everyday life practices of many professions (health and medicine, social work, law and education). Each of these professions has been reassessing the role of the practitioner not least because client or patient groups are becoming used to consumer choice, and are increasingly skilled in accessing and utilising the information resources that are just a click away. Additionally, however, there is growing recognition that although students may be educated in ‘humane' professional practice, this may be trained out of them as they negotiate policies, management goals, and structures that are out of tune with this educational ideal. This seminar series aims to produce innovative, interdisciplinary thinking on the education of future professionals by bringing together professionals, educationalists and others, to engage in discussions about the meaning of the term practice and its realisation in ‘everyday life practices' in a range of policy areas. Discussions will focus on what humanising means in professional practice, on the character of humanising process, and on the outcome of truly humanising services. The series will conclude with an interdisciplinary workshop in Durham organised in conjunction with the Association for Medical Humanities Conference. These seminars are free and open to all. For more information please contact Professor Lena Dominelli or Dr Jane Macnaughton and see link to leaflet below.
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