Behind the mask: Hospital staff adds large ID pictures, encouraging words to ease COVID-19 patient anxiety

A health care worker at Stony Brook University Hospital has helped put into action a plan that is trying to add some humanity for a stressful, life-threatening time for thousands of coronavirus patients.

News 12 Staff

Apr 17, 2020, 7:17 PM

Updated 1,520 days ago

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A health care worker at Stony Brook University Hospital has helped put into action a plan that is trying to add some humanity for a stressful, life-threatening time for thousands of coronavirus patients.
Every day, armies of medical professionals come in ready to face the coronavirus pandemic. But for patients who are struggling for their lives, these masked men and women are the only people they see -- only with all of their gear on, they don't really see them.
April Plank, a nurse practitioner at Stony Brook University Hospital, came up with an idea she believed would bring some humanity back to the bedside.
"After working on the COVID unit, I realized there might be something we can do to help them with seeing who we are," says Plank. "There is a lot of fear when you can't breathe."
Working with her nursing supervisor, Carolyn Santora, the two came up with the idea to make extra large staff IDs, along with a printed message of hope.
"It says I care about you and it says we are going to get through this together, and then again in Spanish," she says.
The hope is the larger ID and encouraging words will bring some comfort to patients who are without their family and friends by their side.
All medical staff in the COVID unit received the larger IDs and began wearing them Friday.
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