Hospital Introduces Disposable Sterile Hijabs

A UK hospital appears to be the first medical facility to introduce disposable sterile hijabs for their staff to use in the operating rooms.

The idea came from junior doctor Farrah Roslan, a Muslim, during her training at the Royal Derby Hospital. She came up with it after concerns of infection arose regarding the headscarf she wore throughout the day.

BBC reports:

It is hoped the items can be introduced nationally but NHS England said it would be up to individual trusts.

Ms Roslan, who works in Lincolnshire, said the idea came to her while she was a medical student with University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Trust.

"I'd been using [the same headscarf] all day which obviously wasn't clean and ideal," she explained to BBC Radio Derby. "I didn't feel comfortable taking it off and I was pulled out from the theatre, respectfully, due to infection control."

She said a middle ground had to be found between "dress code due to faith" and the "passion" of being in the operating theatre.

Ms Roslan looked to Malaysia, the country of her birth, for ideas before creating a design and testing fabrics.

"I'm really happy and looking forward to seeing if we can endorse this nationally," she added, "We know it's a quiet, silent, issue around theatres around the country and I don't think it has been formally addressed.”

"It hasn't cost much and hopefully the effect will be enormous,” Roslan concluded.

Consultant surgeon Gill Tierney, who mentored Ms Roslan, said the trust was the first to introduce the headscarves in the UK.

The University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Trust said the new headscarves were available to use for the first time earlier in December.

Here’s the big question: does a headscarf hinder a medical professional’s work in any way? Another question to be asked is, should people be allowed to exercise their religion at work when it comes to apparel?