Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta has teamed up with Button It Up to create a fun way for patients to see the smiles behind the masks.

With new safety precautions in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Children’s staff took initiative to find creative ways to ensure patients continue to feel supported during their hospital stay. In some of our units, staff are wearing photo buttons that show kids the smiling faces behind their masks.

“Our buttons allow kids to see us without masks, googles and face shields,” Lisa Remshik, Manager of Clinical Operations in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, said. “This effort to connect with our patient families has helped tremendously with making the hospital experience less stressful.”

Children’s has teamed up with the event photo entertainment company, Button It Up, to make the photo buttons available to more staff in the coming weeks.

“With anxiety levels high, we think it’s now more important than ever for our patients and families to feel safe and comfortable at Children’s,” Volunteer Coordinator at Children’s Gabbi Markle said. “These photo buttons provide a fun introduction to our hard-working staff and offer a kind smile, despite mask-covered faces.”

Since COVID-19 came to Georgia in March, Children’s has had to make adjustments to ensure staff and patient safety. The hospital has restricted visitors, required masking and moved all patient events and activities to be virtual. Family Experience Educator Carrie Garrett said the changes have taken a toll on on staff and patients.

“Despite these things though, our patients have always exhibited incredibly strong spirits and their resiliency is unmatched,” Garrett said. “Their spirit inspires us!”

Garrett and Markle said the families and patients have enjoyed the buttons so far. The buttons have provided staff with another way to break the ice and patients with a sense of normalcy and trust.

“So much of the patient’s healing process relies on a relationship built by trust,” Markle said. “While our kiddos know that the masks are vital tools in keeping them safe and protected, they also recognize it creates a barrier between them and their caregivers. Our patients are pretty resilient, but anything that we can do to make them feel more comfortable and relaxed while they’re in our care is something we are passionate about promoting.”

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