Outpatient Surgery Magazine

Healing is Coming - February 2021 - Subscribe to Outpatient Surgery Magazine

Outpatient Surgery Magazine, providing current information on Surgical Services, Surgical Facility Administration, Outpatient Surgery News and Trends, OR Excellence and more.

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1 4 • O U T P A T I E N T S U R G E R Y M A G A Z I N E • F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 1 F or most patients, wear- ing a surgical mask is a minor inconvenience and a necessary part of receiv- ing care in the era of COVID- 19. For patients with a hearing impairment who rely on read- ing lips, however, a mask effec- tively severs their communica- tion lifeline. With a small tweak to the standard mask design, you can adhere to criti- cal infection prevention proto- cols and ensure hearing- impaired patients receive clear information about their care. That's the beauty of a see- through surgical mask, a face covering with a clear vinyl win- dow that allows patients to read their providers' lips. Organic origins Like so many great ideas, this one came about organically for us. During a monthly staff meet- ing, one of our team members mentioned window masks she'd seen on Facebook. Initially, we hoped to simply purchase the masks outright. But during the critical shortage of PPE early in the pandemic, we couldn't find them anywhere. So, we did what any creative and industri- ous team of healthcare professionals would do: We made the masks ourselves. A member of our ethics team, Rebecca Tall, was volunteering with a sewing group in the community who pulled together at the start of the COVID-19 crisis to sew masks for health care providers. They called themselves the "Mask Force" and they designed and produced some prototype window masks for us to try. We settled on a preferred design and then took over much of the production ourselves with the help of Grace Donatelli, a retired seamstress and friend of our department. Over time, we produced more than 200 window masks and shared them across our 12 Sentara hos- A Clear Communication Upgrade See-through masks help us care for hearing-impaired patients. Staffing Katy Trapp, BSN, RN-BC REVEALING FEATURES Sentara Healthcare's ethics team worked with a community volunteer "Mask Force" to design and produce transparent masks for the hearing impaired. Dale Gauding/Sentara Healthcare

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