DiversityNursing Blog

Nurses Showing The Faces Behind The Masks

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Fri, Jul 31, 2020 @ 03:06 PM

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Healthcare workers across the country are fighting tirelessly against COVID-19. They're wearing head to toe PPE around the clock. They're hot and frustrated while wearing it, and… they also lose their identity. Patients just see masks, suits, gloves, and goggles. Hospital staff wants this to change.

"Share Your Smile" and the "Button Project" are just 2 examples of a small, but positive movement. To look less intimidating to patients, healthcare heroes are attaching large photos and buttons of their faces, to their PPE.  

The goal of these projects is to eliminate or reduce a level of fear and anxiety for patients, especially children, who find comfort in seeing the smiling faces of healthcare team rodmembers.

San Diego respiratory therapist Robertino Rodriguez started the "Share Your Smile" idea. Rodriguez said, “Yesterday I felt bad for my patients in ER when I would come in the room with my face covered in PPE. A reassuring smile makes a big difference to a scared patient. So today I made a giant laminated badge for my PPE so my patients can see a reassuring and comforting smile.”

peggyThe movement is catching on amongst health care workers. Peggy Ji, an ER Doctor in Los Angeles, wrote on Instagram, "I was inspired by Robertino Rodriguez who works as a respiratory therapist in this COVID pandemic. I didn’t have a preprinted photo or a color printer so my polaroid will have to do. I wanted to bring a personal touch to caring for patients through my PPE. My hope is that our patients will know there’s a reassuring smile under this mask, and that we’re here for them."

 

Nurse Derek also posted a photo of himself and fellow coworkers on Instagram saying, "thought it was a beautiful way to bring ease to our patients during this stressful time. Thank you to all the healthcare workers out there for battling on the frontlines."

others

The Button project holds the same meaning and started at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.

Adelaide Vienneau, Director of the Children’s Hospital Family Resource Center (FRC) said, “When we were asked to take the lead on this project, I immediately said, ‘yes.' The FRC team likes finding solutions for staff and providing resources to assist patients and families in having the best possible experience during their health care visit. We are delighted with the anecdotal comments on how the photo buttons have been well-received.”

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Any time in the hospital as a patient is a scary time for the patient. The personal connection is so important, but difficult to achieve with all of the PPE. What a simple, yet creative way to put patients at ease to feel a more personal connection with the healthcare team.

What is your place of employment doing about this? Please share with our community. Thank you!

 

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Topics: nurses, hospitals, hospital staff, COVID-19, PPE, healthcare workers, personal protective equipment, share your smile, healthcare team

The Best Ways You Can Thank A Nurse Right Now

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Fri, May 15, 2020 @ 03:34 PM

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Nurses are being cheered around the world for their courage, compassion, and hard work fighting the coronavirus. We should always celebrate Nurses, especially now. 

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, "As you know, during the COVID-19, they're in the front line and they're risking their lives to save others, but not only during COVID-19. Nurses are a bridge between the health system and the community and they have been doing so ever since the Nursing profession actually started."

While we really can't ever thank Nurses enough, here are ways we can express appreciation for them.

1)    Stay Home - The most important way Nurses can be thanked is to stay home when they can.

2)    Continue Social Distancing - Don’t get too relaxed about following social distancing measures.

3)    Donate - Much needed professional grade masks or other PPE.

4)    Cards, Signs, Social Media Posts – get creative and do something locally or nationally.

5)    Gift Cards - Mary Babel, an RN in Jacksonville, FL suggests gift cards to restaurants that offer curbside pickup. Some people are donating gift cards for busy Nurses to buy their families food and some are donating gift cards to buy whole Nursing staff meals! 

6)    Care Packages – For local Nurses and Travel Nurses in over-stressed pandemic areas. To create a care package for Travel Nurses, think small like portable door locks, external battery chargers, collapsible or travel size containers, individual snack size items, power bars, etc.

7)    Compression Socks - Can make a difference in soothing aches and preventing swelling. It’s a gift that truly keeps on giving as 1 pair can last a long time providing many comfortable shifts.

8)    Cell Phone Sanitizer - According to Nurse.org, cell phone sanitizer is a 100% practical gift. Nurses can sanitize their contaminated cell phones and have one less thing to worry about as a possible source of infection.

9)    Shout Out To Nurses – show your support here https://diversitynursing.com/

We all like to feel we’re appreciated. Now is a great time to show all Nurses our appreciation. 

Topics: thank a nurse, PPE, giving back, donating, helping healthcare workers, healthcare workers, thanking nurses

Health Care Workers Are Facing a Mental Health Crisis During The COVID-19 Outbreak

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Tue, May 05, 2020 @ 11:25 AM

mentalhealthMany Nurses and Doctors said in interviews with TIME, that fighting COVID-19 is making them feel more dedicated to their chosen career, and determined to persevere and help their patients. But, many also said they were struggling with negative feelings.

Healthcare workers are afraid of spreading the virus to their families, frustrated about the lack of PPE, and feel they can’t do enough for their patients. First responders are tired from long shifts, and are extremely sad for their dying patients, of which many are passing away alone. This is heartbreaking.

Dr. Jay Kaplan, an emergency room Physician and wellness specialist at LCMC Health system in New Orleans, lets his staff know they aren't alone. He listens as Nurses and Doctors share their fears and problems.

Kaplan tells them it’s okay to get sad or angry over the coronavirus. He reads them his poems. He shares that one day he came home and cried to his wife because he was  overwhelmed by the rate of dying patients.

“We need to break the culture of silence and let people know it’s okay not to have it all together all the time,” he said.

Kaplan’s “wellness visits” are a key strategy in preventing healthcare workers from spiraling into depression and post-traumatic stress disorder during the pandemic. Many hospitals across the U.S. are launching similar initiatives.

Mount Sinai hospitals in New York City ramped up initiatives, such as a 24/7 mental health crisis line and one-on-one counseling. It also launched a wellness and resilience center that will track staffers' mental health long term.

Dr. Deborah B. Marin, Professor of Psychiatry at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and Director of the new center said,  “This multi-disciplinary center will consider the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual needs of our entire health care community, including those on the frontline and in supporting roles. Working closely with every department across the health system, our aim is to not only address  but to also prevent the development of mental health issues before they occur by intervening early, offering resilience training and treatment for every health care working in need. It’s important that we launch now as this crisis continues to evolve and take a toll on our community.”

Several healthcare workers in the TIME interviews said, among all the uncertainty and fear, they have found some relief in support from their families, communities, and one another.

We’re offering this article during Nurses Week as a reminder to all to be as patient, kind and loving to our Nurses, Healthcare workers, first responders, grocery store employees and all the people out there working to keep us safe. Thank you!

Topics: mental health, first responders, mental health nursing, COVID-19, coronavirus, healthcare workers

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