During the coronavirus pandemic, nametags started to take on new meaning.
Particularly in hospitals. Doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals are legally required to keep their distance, interacting with patients only under excessive layers of protective equipment.
My friends who worked in medicine told me it made them feel deeply disconnected. But certain healthcare workers found clever ways to help patients feel less alone and more joyful.
Scripps hospital system had a group of respiratory specialists that started wearing nametags with cheerful pictures of themselves on their gowns. Displaying their full names along with reassuring, comforting smiles uplifted sufferers of this horrible virus and made a big difference to scared patients.
Can you imagine how good that would feel if it were you?
On both sides of the stethoscope, too. For the patients, the nametags bring ease during a stressful time. The patient care experience is instantly made more human and memorable.
And as for the healthcare providers, the nametags elevate their sense of pride as an essential worker. It also prevents them from being reduced to a pair of eyes behind layers of gear.
It’s no surprise, then, that hospitals have announced changes to their identification protocols as the coronavirus spreads. Many are now requiring larger, more prominent nametags to be worn at all times. This sticker is to remain visible to patients, guests, and other personnel, rather than just hanging from a belt loop in the background.
After all, being in the hospital for an unknown virus is scary enough. May as well do what we can to ease the burden.
One chief of medicine told his local paper that giving patients hope through a friendly face is fifty percent of the battle. If he has someone who loses hope, it doesn’t matter how many medications he gives them, they’re going to go.
Perhaps nametags are just what the doctor ordered.
Now, there is no clinical proof that the nametag heals the outcome of someone’s condition, but it certainly helps the experience of treating it. Particularly during this time when people are already starved for connection, this story is a reminder for all of us to not make a tough situation even harder by being anonymous.
Put yourself and the people around you at ease by visibly articulating your humanity in an uplifting way.
Wear your nametag. Share the essence of the person who is underneath, and let the healing begin.
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
How could you use connection to comfort those who are suffering?