Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital (KBRH) Project Spotlight
One thing that was a standard normal for our profession and services became a new normal for our patients in 2020. Masks. But, while many of us are comfortable with masks, and find them necessary and often preferable, for others it is uncomfortable and un-welcome. Wearing masks for safety may have grown in acceptance and practice but at the same time so did an increased desire to see people’s faces. Patients want to see their doctors’ faces. The solution: the Kootenay Boundary Physicians Association (KBPA) Face Button Project.
KBPA’s goal is to supply all physicians, nurses, admin staff—anyone working at KBRHs—with their own smiling face button to wear for the public, patients, and colleagues. We are committed to this ‘face time’ project and participation is growing.
It's a simple solution to the complex COVID protection protocols. The US National Centre for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) recently reported on the severe affects and challenges wearing face coverings are producing during the pandemic. They explore how “…the face mask can hinder interpersonal communication…”, an important component of our services.
A key side-effect of masks is blocking facial expressions critical in comprehension. The facial muscles that create expressions, predominantly moving our nose and mouth, are important when conveying emotions and information. As communication is a two-way street, we are experiencing even more congestion as both parties communicating are wearing masks. The smooth flow of information is prone to being blocked.
The KBPA are supporting the #KBRHSmiles to provide a face button with a head and shoulders photo so everyone can see the smile behind your mask. Dr. Sue Babensee, KBRH physician and Project Lead, wears hers with pride, loving the positive response she gets when others see her happy face.
We’ve made it easy for KBRH IH Staff and physicians to join in. Take a selfie or chose a photo and contact your department head or our Project Co-Ordinator: firstname.lastname@example.org. The rest is up to us. We’ll send your button and you can join the growing number of project supporters.
Get your smile out from behind your mask. Let’s face it. Putting our real face forward is a prescription for better connections, so important at this time.
Date: January 2021