To Comfort Covid-19 Patients Medical Workers Use Smiling Pictures Of Themselves As Name-Badges

By Mayukh Saha / Truth Theory

If someone is somehow tested positive for COVID-19, it becomes a cause of panic for them. The panic only increases if that patient is subjected to a hospital stay. A hospital stay can be extremely depressing and frightening. You will be put in a foreign environment – you know a deadly virus is present within you, and you cannot have any family or friends comforting you.

You are alone, terribly, terribly alone.

The only human contact is with a team of medical professionals coming in with their PPE – as if you are a contagious test subject.

Read: Anonymous Donor Spends $82,000 To Give $150 Gift Cards To Every Home In Small Iowa Town

Robertino Rodriguez is a respiratory therapist based in San Diego. He did not like the way the patients might perceive the world around them from behind the closed door of isolated wards. He was following the script given to doctors as usual but then, he chose to do something different. While doing his shift at the Scripps Mercy Hospital, he came into the chamber of his patient with a big smile pasted on his PPE.

On Instagram, the doctor mentioned how terrible he felt when he looked at the despair on the patient’s faces, as they tried to find a comforting soul somewhere. So, he decided to put the badge in front – a familiar face which had to be, unfortunately, hidden under layers of protective equipment.

The badge shows Rodrigeuz in a suit and tie but presenting a reassuring smile. It just gives a face of a human being behind the PPE – a human being trying to help you.

He mentioned that health workers always lead with a reassuring smile to comfort patients, but due to the PPE, it is not possible. However, it is almost essential for the smile to comfort patients, especially in these dark times. 

So, Rodriguez chose a possible substitute – his smiling photo.

When people saw his post, they were ecstatic. The post went viral and invited comments, which called the act ‘the sweetest thing’ or called him the ‘hero we need’. 

He became quite an inspiration and following his idea, many doctors and nurses began placing their smiling photo badge on their hospital attire. 

Peggy Ji did not have a pre-printed photo, so she took a polaroid with her. She is an ER doctor in LA. She believes that any strangeness or alienating feelings faced by the patient can be alleviated by her smiling photo.

She mentions how serious the patients look when they come in. It’s quite frightening that many of these patients show up with a cough or shortness of breath. People immediately wonder if they have COVID-19. The positive cases end up in an isolated room with faceless doctors wearing PPE – no friends, no family.

This smiling photo is enough to create a connection with them.

A doctor in São Paulo went a bit over-the-top too and added Ariel from Disney’s The Little Mermaid on her PPE. 

After watching Rodriguez, a nurse from Los Angeles, Derek DeVault inspired all the co-workers to follow suit. He noticed that the patients were responding with optimism after noticing the smiling photo.

Read: Teacher Walks Five Miles To Provide Free Meals For 78 School Children Every Day

Rodriguez is loving the smiling photo movement. He wants to call the smiling photo movement ‘Share Your Smile’. But he’s happy that it is spreading positivity among the patients.

He says that as doctors, one should go the extra mile to show that you really do care for someone. It is especially important for people in the healthcare sector.

Image credit: derekdevault & pegsfordays

 

Leave Comment: