Healthcare Workers Wear Badges With Smiling Faces So Patients See Beyond Their Masks

by : Lucy Connolly on : 08 Apr 2020 13:35
Healthcare Workers Wear Badges With Smiling Faces So Patients See Beyond Their MasksHealthcare Workers Wear Badges With Smiling Faces So Patients See Beyond Their Maskscaptain_wolf82/Instagram/PaedsNurseDanny/Twitter

A healthcare worker has come up with a heartwarming way to give a ‘reassuring smile’ to his patients while working on the frontline in San Diego.


Robertino Rodriguez, a respiratory therapist at Scripps Mercy Hospital, was treating patients in the ER over the weekend when he made the decision to do something to brighten their day.

Feeling bad that the people he was treating would only see part of his face covered in personal protective equipment (PPE), with a mask and goggles covering most of it, he made a giant laminated badge to wear on top of his PPE.

doctor makes badgedoctor makes badgecaptain_wolf82/Instagram

As a respiratory therapist, Robertino assesses and treats patients with acute and chronic dysfunction of the cardiopulmonary system. His role within the hospital, Robertino told UNILAD, is working in the ‘critical areas’ with the ‘most critical patients’ like the emergency room and ICU.


The badge, which he stuck to his chest, displayed a picture of himself suited up and smiling – a stark change from what his patients would be seeing on a daily basis from each of their doctors. He shared a picture of the badge inn action on Instagram, alongside a heartfelt message urging people to ‘stay home and save lives’.

Robertino wrote:

Yesterday I felt bad for my patients in ER when I would come in the room with my face covered in PPE. A reassuring smile makes a big difference to a scared patient. So today I made a giant laminated badge for my PPE. So my patients can see a reassuring and comforting smile.

Speaking to UNILAD about the reasons behind creating the badge, Robertino explained that he wanted to ‘help ease [his patients’] fear’, adding: ‘Since my face is covered by a mask and face shield, my patients can’t see my comforting and reassuring smile during a scary moment in their lives.’

He continued:

I will continue to wear [the badge] until I don’t have to wear a mask. More of my colleagues and other healthcare workers are now doing it too and I’m getting photos from other healthcare workers around the country who were inspired by my photo.

And it’s true; other doctors and healthcare workers from around the globe have started creating similar badges, putting them on their PPE to provide a bit of solace to their patients at such a worrying time in their lives.


Robertino said both his patients and colleagues were ‘touched’ by the gesture, adding: ‘A smile goes a long way in changing a life.’

He said his department remains ‘optimistic’ as they continue to tackle the public health crisis, describing them as a ‘great team’ and saying they ‘will get through it together’.

What heroes.

It’s okay to not panic about everything going on in the world right now. LADbible and UNILAD’s aim with our campaign, Cutting Through, is to provide our community with facts and stories from the people who are either qualified to comment or have experienced first-hand the situation we’re facing. For more information from the World Health Organization, click here.

Lucy Connolly

A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).

Topics: Health, California, Coronavirus, COVID-19, Healthcare Workers, Hospitals, Personal Protective Equipment, PPE


Robertino Rodriguez/Instagram
  1. Robertino Rodriguez/Instagram