‘Beyond the Mask' Connects Patients With Healthcare Workers

The new initiative at Medical City Healthcare puts a face on medicine during a time when a friendly face is what's needed the most

NBCUniversal, Inc.

The new initiative at a local hospital system puts a face on medicine during a time when a friendly face is what's needed the most.

Visits between patients and hospital staff look different in a pandemic.

"They're kind of hidden behind a mask and it's kind of hard to get to know your nurses. It's a little more impersonal," said Medical City Dallas patient Natalie Cohen.

Even though Cohen can't see her nurse Brianna Abramson's smile in person, she can see it on a special badge designed to give patients a look at nurses and doctors behind the mask.

"The patients really connect with it and say, 'oh, that's what you look like behind your mask!" said Abramson.

The badges are part of Medical City Healthcare's new Beyond The Mask program.

The idea started as a way to humanize the doctors and nurses who are in personal protective equipment from head to toe while treating COVID-19 patients.

Now, about 13,000 Medical City Healthcare employees, from cafeteria workers to top executives, wear personalized badges with photos of themselves, their families or even their pets.

"You're able to say, 'this is the picture I took a year ago,' and it starts conversations up. They're scared. This is every day for us but this is the scariest time in a patient's life, so when we are able to connect with them, it really makes it such a great experience for everyone involved," said Abramson.

The hospital system is the first in North Texas to roll out this type of program systemwide.

Born out of a way to connect during the pandemic, now, a new standard of personalized care.

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