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Hospital residents are typically allowed to have visitors under normal circumstances. It is important to have access to our loved ones when we are not feeling well. They provide us with love and emotional support during a time when it can be hard to come by. Unfortunately, the circumstances that we are experiencing right now are the furthest thing from normal.

Patients who are recovering from the COVID-19 outbreak cannot receive visitors and this decision has been made for the greater good. Nurses and doctors are also forced to keep their distance at the moment. This makes their interactions with patients less personal than usual. The protective glasses and surgical masks keep medical personnel from being able to offer a smile.

An inventive health care worker came up with the perfect plan to keep patients from feeling too lonely. He works at Scripps Mercy Hospital in San Diego and he is looking to assist those who are feeling left behind. Robertino Rodriguez works as a respiratory therapist at the hospital. He recognizes the importance of being able to offer his patients the necessary reassurance.

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Yesterday I felt bad for my patients in ER when I would come in the room with my face covered in PPE. A reassuring smile makes a big difference to a scared patient. So today I made a giant laminated badge for my PPE. So my patients can see a reassuring and comforting smile #respiratorytherapist #respiratorycarepractitioner #covid_19 #ppe #sandiego #california #pandemic #hospital #rcp #hospitallife #stayhomesavelives #healthcareheroes #frontliners

A post shared by Robertino Rodriguez (@captain_wolf82) on

Rodriguez feels bad about his inability to offer a more personal touch which is why he created this awesome laminated badge and placed it on his personal protective equipment. This allows patients to receive some small measure of reassurance. Healthcare workers have been inspired by the gesture. This idea has created a more welcoming environment for patients who are cut off from human contact.

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Saw this idea on IG and thought it was a beautiful way to bring ease to our patients during this stressful time. Thank you to all the healthcare workers out there for battling on the frontlines. To all those who are staying home, huge shout out to you! I know that is also not easy. #nurse #nurses #nurselife #healthcare #covid19 #coronavirus #staysafe #stayhome #washyourhands #coveryourmouth #thistooshallpass #faith #faithoverfear #godisgood #davita

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Derek DeVault is a Los Angeles nurse who first saw the idea on his Instagram page. “Thank you to all the healthcare workers out there for battling on the frontlines,” he said. He also took the time to send a special shout out to those who are stuck at home right now. It cannot be easy. Remaining indoors for the foreseeable future comes with its own set of challenges.

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I was inspired by @captain_wolf82 who works as a respiratory therapist in this COVID pandemic. I didn’t have a preprinted photo or a color printer so my polaroid will have to do. I wanted to bring a personal touch to caring for patients through my PPE. My hope is that our patients will know there’s a reassuring smile under this mask, and that we’re here for them. Thanks for the 📸 @christineherreraa

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We must all do our part and remember how important our actions are at the moment. Whether you are someone who is staying home to prevent the spread of the virus or you work in a medical facility, we all have a responsibility to each other. Let’s all come together and do what we can to keep one another safe and happy during the weeks and months to come. Healthcare workers, like Robertino and Derek, were already heroes before but they are now going the extra mile to help their patients! They deserve all of the kudos.