In a world that seems to be shifting and changing rapidly, it is important to establish a sense of consistency for your patients. As a healthcare provider, you have the rewarding opportunity of creating a safe place where your patients can relax and feel at ease. Healthcare spaces can be intimidating for children, especially with increased sanitation protocol, patient screening, and more PPE. SmileMakers is here to lend a hand by providing a guide on how to create more smiles and keep the patient experience more normal in a time when things just aren't.
Show the Faces Behind the PPE
The patient experience is changing and may seem less warm and personal. From a child’s perspective, it may be difficult to feel comfortable around people who are covered in head-to-toe PPE. Face masks, gowns, and face shields can look scary and intimidating! Children likely won’t be able to recognize the familiar faces they have come to know and trust. This is why it is important to safely show your patients that the faces behind the masks are still warm and friendly!
Taking off the PPE during an appointment is not an option, but by creating a video or taking a few photos to post on social media or email to your families, you can provide some familiarity and reassurance. If you can, start your video wearing your PPE, then take it off to reveal the friendly face behind the mask! You can also say a fun fact about yourself to help your little patients relate to you. This can also be done by taking a photo with your PPE and then one without. Remember to get the whole team involved, too!
Tips for Your Team
When working with children it is always important to be warm and compassionate, and of course, your team already knows this. However, you might want to remind your team to be extra kind and gentle while wearing extra layers of PPE. Even when greeting a patient they’ve come to know over the years, it is important to remember that they probably look pretty intimidating!
Personalizing your PPE is one way your team can add a sense of lightheartedness and normalcy to the new patient experience. With fun, colorful mini re-stickables, little patients will come to associate the PPE with their favorite characters and cute images. (A unicorn, a llama, or some cute kittens are sure to get a giggle or two!) Re-stickables adhere to face shields and other non-porous surfaces, and can easily be swapped out to keep the look fresh and exciting.
Another option for adding personality back into your practice is to use customizable stickers as nametags. This is a fun way to help patients identify who you are when everyone likely looks very similar in their PPE. Patients may not be able to put a name to the face, but they will be able to associate your name with a colorful, friendly character.
SmileMakers Is Here for You
“We care for you like you care for your patients” is more than our tagline. That statement represents our core values and is at the heart of everything we do. We know this is a difficult time for healthcare workers, practices, and small business owners. And we’re here for you now just as we have been for over 40 years. Reach out and tell us what we can do to help you at SmileMakers.com.