Consultant helps with COVID communications

A consultant working in A&E during the COVID-19 crisis has come up with a novel way of helping staff wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) identify themselves to patients.

Rod Mackenzie became concerned about how the masks impacted his ability to talk to and connect with patients, while the plastic aprons covered over his name badge.

The PPE can make the experience quite unpleasant and intimidating for some patients and frightening for some children. We can’t even give someone a smile. As a Department, we really embraced the #hellomynameis movement (www.hellomynameis.org.uk) to help connect with patient.

The late Dr Kate Granger founded #hellomynameis, after realising many doctors did not introduce themselves to her while she was terminally ill in hospital. As a result many healthcare workers now wear #hellomynameis name badges and make a conscious effort to introduce themselves to patients.

To paraphrase her, the simple act of an introduction makes a human connection between one human being who is suffering and vulnerable, and another human being who wishes to help. This begins a therapeutic relationship and can instantly build trust in difficult circumstances.

In response to this, Rod came up with the idea of ordering sticky labels printed up as #hellomynameis name badges for staff to stick onto their aprons in A&E. 

Funding for the stickers has kindly been provided by players at Histon Football Club. Midfielder Lee Smith heard about the scheme through his aunt who works at the hospital and asked his teammates to help support the project by donating £1000 of kitty money. This cash is built up over the year when players are “fined” when they have dirty boots or leave flip flops in the showers. Usually the accumulated cash  is spent on fun activities, like away days, but the players have decided to donate this money to the hospital instead.