This is how you take care of your patients!
Meet the Black pediatrician who created a hair kit to help young patients with their textured hair.
Dr. Nekaiya “Kay” Jacobs is a pediatric intensive care physician working at Advocate Children’s Hospital in Illinois. After noticing a pattern of patients not having the tools to care for their hair, she decided to bring hair care products from home. Jacobs told Good Morning America, “Our patients who have coily or kinky or wavy hair textures, or our patients with more protective styles like braids really didn’t have the tools that they needed to be able to care for their hair texture.”
She had the idea to turn the kind gesture into an inclusive hair-kit program. Taking her idea to the higher ups, she was granted funding from the hospital’s diversity and inclusion budget and formed a textured hair care council. From there, the hair kits were born, each packed with a curl-friendly shampoo and conditioner, a wide-tooth comb, a bristle brush, and a bonnet with the hospital’s name on it.
Since starting in January, over 200 kits have been passed out! Jacobs is already receiving positive feedback from patients and have even branched out to other units requesting these handy hair kits. They provide patients relief from hair care and double as a distraction from the stress of being in the hospital.
“Doing hair is a very important part of the day for our patients because we try to keep them, if possible, on a morning routine where they’re able to wake up, brush their teeth and do something as simple as put their hair in a ponytail,” Jacobs said. “So this part of the day being able to do so with supplies that are specific to their hair texture has been really important to [the patients] and they get really excited about them.”
These have been a great reminder of why she entered this field to begin with and we can’t wait to see this initiative expand to more hospitals.
Photo: Advocate Children’s Hospital