AN initiative to help make patients feel more comfortable dealing with mask-wearing staff amid the coronavirus is taking off across Rotherham Hospital.
Gemma Hayden, team leader for the stroke rehabilitation at the Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust, said she had spotted an idea online from a speech therapist for picture templates to be used on staff badges and decided to share it with her workmates.
“The idea has really taken off,” added Gemma. “My colleagues Rachel Cubitt, a speech and language therapist, and Cassie Broomhead, an advanced practitioner, have been working on the project.
“After seeing the idea online, I thought it would be worthwhile to share it so staff could make their own.”
The templates are simple designs that brighten up ID badges and introduce the person behind the mask in a friendly way.
Rachel added that the stroke rehabilitation team had been discussing the difficulties to communicate with patients while wearing masks and not being able to smile to reassure them with their faces covered.
“After seeing the template, we decided it would be nice to make them for ourselves and the rest of our team to wear on the ward,” she said.
“I think it’s important, particularly when wearing PPE that can look quite intimidating, that patients are able to recognise us and understand our roles when we are working with them.
“The badges help to build rapport with them and are a great way to show that there is a person with a smile under the mask as well as helping to continue the ‘Hello my name is...’ campaign.”
These badges are now being used by the in-patient orthopaedic therapy team and the adult speech therapy team - with the hope more teams in the hospital will get involved.
The template for the badges have also been shared with all staff internally to access.