Health care workers are wearing smiling photos of themselves to put coronavirus patients at ease
(CNN) -- Being in the hospital for coronavirus is scary enough. Then seeing your doctor or some other health care worker come in with a mask, glasses, hood and all the other protective gear? It can make a tough situation even harder.
That's why Robertino Rodriguez, a respiratory therapist at Scripps Mercy Hospital in San Diego, put a laminated photo of his face along with his name on his PPE gear -- an effort to put his patients at ease. He shared his idea on Instagram and has more than 30,000 likes.
"Yesterday I felt bad for my patients in ER when I would come in the room with my face covered in PPE," Rodriguez wrote in the post. "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."
Rodriguez's idea has inspired other healthcare workers, too.
Derek DeVault, a nurse in Los Angeles, and some of his coworkers took a cue from Rodriguez. He called the idea "amazing."
"These patients are alone in the hospital, not allowed visitors and surrounded by a care team that's covered head to toe in PPE," he told CNN. "Seeing a picture of who's underneath could bring ease and comfort at such a stressful time."
Since January, there have been more than 491,000 Covid-19 cases in the US, and more than 18,000 have died due to the virus. The peak is expected to occur on Sunday, according to experts.
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