Earlier in the year, Honours student Lauren Hyland recently undertook a role-play exercise to help her gain empathy for elderly patients in public healthcare. Much more than a simple exercise in acting, Lauren fully transformed her visual appearance and identity, with the help of make-up artists at BodyFX, into that of an ill-looking, frail elderly woman. Following her radical transformation, Lauren immersed herself in the context of public healthcare at Auckland City’s Public Hospital at Grafton, providing her an interactive environment to act out the experience of her users. Lauren reflects on the exercise and her experience below:
‘My key insights were gained through the use of ‘Role-Play’ as an explorative, empathy gaining method. With the help of BodyFX – the make-up & prosthetics specialists – I was able to fully embody what it is like to be an elderly patient by experiencing a day walking in their shoes. I allowed myself to be immersed into the moment – feeling vulnerable, overwhelmed and at times invisible or ignored.'
In response to this outstanding research effort, Take a look at Lauren's magnetic, easily removable privacy screen that retrofits onto existing hospital beds. The design is a concept at this stage, but has scope to be developed in different materials, transparencies and sizes.
Well done Lauren for all the hard work you have put in this year at the DHW lab!
Check out her research video here: