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Shandong medical team in Hubei isolation ward praised for sign language system

(People's Daily Online)    13:12, February 18, 2020
Shandong medical team in Hubei isolation ward praised for sign language system
Hand sign for taking body temperature.

A system of hand signs recently invented by the second batch of medical staff dispatched by east China’s Shandong province to central China’s Hubei, the province hit worst by the novel coronavirus outbreak, has received widespread praise in the country.

The special sign language system was created on Feb.12 by medical workers from Shandong who came to provide assistance in Huanggang, one of the hardest-hit cities in Hubei province, and was developed to help medical workers communicate with each other and patients.

According to Xu Jianxiu, a member of the medical team working in a makeshift hospital built to treat patients infected with the novel coronavirus in Huanggang, the isolation area and semi-contaminated area where they work are closed off, and all the medical workers wear thick protective clothing, face masks and protective goggles, making it extremely difficult for them to hear each other.

“Most of the time we use pagers, mobile phones, or written messages to exchange information about patients with each other and give advice to patients,” said Xu, adding that when they communicate with each other over the phone they have to repeat themselves several times before making their messages clear.

The medical workers then used hand signs when they found it difficult to communicate through other means, said Xu, explaining that as it turned out, hand signs not only save time, but also improve work efficiency.

“Post-80s and post-90s members of our team suggested we make a video to systemize the signals so that we can use them to better help with our teamwork,” Xu said.

The final version of the hand signs, which are simple and clear, was decided upon after discussion on Feb.12, and has been quickly put into use in communication with patients.

The sign language has quickly gone viral on the Internet after video and photos of it were put online by reporters. Many netizens praised the smart idea and the professional dedication of the medical workers who created it.

“I thought the movements were cute when I saw them for the first time. I admired the idea when I watched the video for the second time. But I wanted to cry when I watch the video for the third time,” said an Internet user.


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(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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