In case you missed a day, here are the other Good Ideas from Good-Idea-A-Day Week!
Today’s Good Idea: Put On A (Sterile) Happy Face
I have previously referenced my job as a nurse at a children’s hospital, and after a few months of working I have learned a lot. One thing I have learned is that there are a lot of children in a children’s hospital. This may seem obvious, but sometimes I feel like people forget this fact.
A great example of this can be seen with the protective equipment that we have to wear when a child is in some sort of isolation (for example if they have a respiratory illness, or a weakened immune system.)
This is very common in our hospital, and anyone who goes into the child’s room must don a bright yellow gown, blue gloves, and a face mask. We can tell a child why we have to wear these special clothes, but in reality I did not start listening to adults until I was an adult, especially if I was afraid of their clothes.
I can only imagine how we appear to kids who do not understand why we are wearing these scary outfits. In my mind this is probably how we appear to them:
I had the following experience, which led to a Good Idea for how to make kids more comfortable at the hospital.
A patient was taking pictures with everyone who cared for him while he was in the hospital. However, he was in isolation and so everyone had to wear masks in the pictures.
As a few other nurses and I smiled under our masks, I realized that our smiles would obviously go undetected. At the last-minute, I decided to flip my mask over and draw a smile onto the mask. I successfully became the only person besides the patient to smile in any of the pictures.
This made me realize that it would be so easy to produce child-friendly masks and gowns. Why not have the isolation gowns be an Astronaut space suit, or a zookeeper outfit with animals in the pockets? The options are limitless, and the small price increase for printing them would be worth the developmental benefits for these kids.
This Good Idea goes beyond posing for a picture and is more about making the hospital experience better for everyone, especially the children. To be honest, I would request all the kids in isolation because I love to play dress up.
Here are a couple of examples of facemasks I made to show how simple but poignant the effect can be: (Keep in mind that I do not have a printing machine and I have the artistic aptitude of a second-grader.)
I think the smell of permanent marker might have been getting to me, but the more I made of these facemasks, the better I though the Good Idea was. I would challenge any company responsible for making protective personal equipment to produce masks like these. I would then challenge these companies to send me royalties…
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