May 03 2009

the softer side of healthcare

Published by at 6:52 pm under healthcare,news,portraits,worklife

Most of my healthcare photography involves shooting for major academic and research institutes. It is normal to shoot researchers doing ground breaking science in labs, surgeons conducting brain surgery, and patients that were saved by some clinical trial.  Years ago during the last major healthcare debate in the Clinton years, I was asked by Postgraduate Medicine Magazine to show the life of doctors in differing medical practices that ranged from a Kaiser HMO setting to a small town private practice. And recently I had the opportunity to show how healthcare is practiced in a community hospital. It is good to be reminded that most of medical care takes place in individual doctor offices and smaller hospitals.

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A dad amazed by his new baby

In this project we focused on some of the more common ways patients interact with the hospital, such as having a baby and dealing with an accident. Like many community hospitals Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital promotes their maternity services. Having a baby is a happy encounter with a hospital and it is a great way to establish a lifelong relationship. This allowed me to shoot multiple moms and dads bonding with their new babies.

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An adorable girl modeling an arm injury

Another common way to come into the hospital is through normal everyday accidents. We showed both a childhood injury and a sports accident. For this we staged some procedures in the emergency department including this mock arm injury to a adorable girl’s arm.

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A volunteer that was honored as a Healthcare Hero

In academic settings the focus is much more on doctors, but here there was also a way to celebrate the other healthcare providers. These are their Healthcare Heros. They are any individual that made a difference in a hospital visit or stay. This can be any staff member from a volunteer…

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A smiling Hero nurse

to a nurse, medical tech and even a few doctors. These staff member were honored with a pin and many ended up on posters displayed throughout the hospital.

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A pair of OR nurses at the end of their shift

There is much to be celebrated about cutting edge medicine, but too often we forget that the majority of care – and often the most important treatment comes from the human interaction between a healthcare worker and a patient. It was great getting out of the lab and back on the frontline of medicine.

To view my other medicine posts, please visit these links: Heart Valve, Hallway Test, and Early Birds Keep Their Health.

Mark Harmel

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