Instant cameras have become a helpful tool for doctors and nurses treating COVID-19 patients.
“It reminds me of that scene in ‘E.T.,’ that scene from ‘E.T.’ at the end. It’s very scary,” nurse Caitlin Burke told CBS2’s Kristine Johnson.
She says personal protective equipment, while vital for their safety, can cause patients anxiety and obstruct an essential element of patient care.
“They’re not able to get that body language that’s normally expressed through the face, of like it’s OK or I am laughing at your joke or I am smiling when I walk into the room,” Burke said.
Their solution: personalized PPE, designed and created at the nurses’ station. Thanks to Polaroid and community donations, they have the supplies to create an innovative name badge, allowing the patient to “see” the face behind the mask.
“It makes them feel more human, so it’s helping to even have some normal conversations with the patient, which typically is being missed, I think, because there is just so much fear and anxiety that is happening,” Burke said.
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She says they find the strength to move forward when celebrating other patients who are well enough to go home and in brief moments of levity with colleagues.
“It’s giving them something sort of mundane to think about and focus on. You know, you have to have those few minutes a day where you know, you’re away from it, as much as you can as being in it,” Burke said.
There is some good news coming from Valley Hospital. On Tuesday, 15 of their COVID-19 patients were able to return home.