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Healthcare Workers Are Sticking Photos On Their PPEs To Give COVID-19 Patients Human Connection

“A reassuring smile makes a big difference to a scared patient.”

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  • Dr. Joseph Varon believes that “giving patients hope through a friendly face is 50% of the battle.”
  • A healthcare worker in San Diego shared this idea on his Instagram, and it was immediately well-received by medical professionals from different countries.

“Giving patients hope through a friendly face is 50% of the battle,” United Memorial Medical Center chief of medicine Dr. Joseph Varon of Houston said as he stuck his cheerful photo on his full protective gear.

Varon believes that having human connection with their coronavirus patients is one of the factors in helping them to recover. However, wearing a full personal protective gear prevents them from doing that.

He also believes that humor can also play a big role in the recovery process.

“Make them smile. Make your patients smile. They’re going through hell right now. They think they are going to die and many of them may die, so at least be humane, be compassionate,” Varon said.

Varon shared that he keeps on telling people to have a goal of doing everything they can to avoid losing people to the disease.

One of his patients, Jeffrey Boney, who recently recovered from coronavirus can attest to that. He described Varon along with Dr. Joseph Gathe and his nurses Jerusha Brown Harshman and Diego as being “amazing, innovative, and outstanding” medical professionals. Boney labeled them as true “medical heroes and unsung community champions.”

The idea started when Scripps Mercy Hospital respiratory therapist Robertino Rodriguez of San Diego posted a photo of him online, showing him in full gear with his smiling picture on his chest area. In his Instagram post, he said that he felt bad for his patients when he would come in the room with his face all covered up.

He then made a “giant laminated badge” of his face to give his patients “reassuring and comforting smile”.

Through his post, medical professionals from different hospitals are now doing the same thing.

Medical staff from Spain also loved Rodriguez’s idea.

Meanwhile, pediatrician Dr. Emanuelle Quiroz of Sao Paulo Brazil used a photo of Disney Princess character Ariel to cheer children up.

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