Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital nurses use decorated masks to ease fears of patients

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Walking down any hallway and going into almost any patient room of Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital, it’s clear know it takes a special kind of person to be a nurse.

Two of those nurses, behind their masks, are Kendyl Pearcy and Sarah Sain.

“It’s always a bit nerve-wrecking coming into work just because you never know, and I think that’s the thing with the whole COVID,” Said said. “It’s unpredictable, and we’re not used to it.”

Nurses make a lot sacrifices to make life less scary for their small patients—patients who can’t see smiling faces, but now see their nurses and doctors wearing masks.

“I wear my mask like I wear my scrubs everyday now,” Pearcy said. “It’s like my attire I have to wear.”

For some children, face masks can be frightening, so Le Bonheur decided to make their masks kid-friendly.

“So now that all of us workers here have to wear masks, it can be scary for some of the kids, so we wanted to make it feel normal for them and make sure they’re not feeling scared or intimidated,” Sain said.

The hospital ordered protective face masks for the entire staff designed with cartoon characters and other pictures.

“A lot of the nurses have started to make interesting, funny masks with pictures and faces on them to help our kids feel a little bit more comfortable,” Dr. Meg West said. “Kids can get scared with the mask. It’s something new.”

The new look is winning over some patients.

“A lot them when they come in, a lot of their parents are already wearing them or the parents have them wearing one, so it’s starting to become a new normal for everyone,” Sain said.

“When we look at Le Bonheur you see the big ole red heart, so you just come in and give your whole heart the whole entire time,” Pearcy said.

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