11th Jul, 2020

Pictures added to help patients see person behind PPE

STAFF working on the Acute Respiratory Unit at Worcestershire Royal Hospital have come up with a clever way to help Covid-19 patients feel a little less isolated and help them to see the person behind the Personal Protective equipment (PPE).

Their PPE obscures their faces entirely, preventing patients from recognising individual members of staff or preventing staff from offering so much as a reassuring smile.

Dr Kishu Pharasi came up with the simple but effective solution of adding large photos to staff PPE to bring back the human connection with their patients.

He added: “One of the most unexpected, yet challenging parts of Covid-19 for me has been caring for patients while being hidden behind a veil of full PPE.

“Within the first few weeks of the pandemic on the Acute Respiratory Unit, it became clear that not only were we struggling to recognise each other, but our patients couldn’t tell us apart either.

“By making a large ID photo for every member of staff I feel that we were able to bring back a touch of human connection by emphasising the individual behind every facemask.”

Dr Pharasi also added how well patients have responded to the photos: “Not only has this helped us build a better relationship with our patients, but it’s also done wonders for staff morale on the ward.”

Vicky Morris, Chief Nursing Officer at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “Our staff are doing a magnificent job in working to put patients first through one of the most challenging periods in the history of the NHS.

“At a time when we have had to restrict visiting and also implement strict PPE measures to keep our staff and patients as safe as possible, this idea is invaluable.

“It allows us to build that relationship with our patients and bring back that vital human connection that is so comfiting to both patients and staff alike. It means a lot to our staff, patients and of course their families.”

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