Calming fears and anxiety in children in the hospital
A mini Ferrari, virtual reality goggles and even stuffed animals all have the ability to ease the anxiety of our youngest patients at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center.
Caregivers known as child life specialists make the rounds with a cart full of toys and technology in hopes of giving pediatric patients fun distractions to ease their anxiety about being in the hospital.
“A lot of kids come into this setting with fears and uncertainty about what to expect,” said Christina Becerra, child life specialist at Providence St. Vincent. “Our job is to say here’s what’s happening and here is why it is important.”
For patients like Lilla, the ability to drive a mini Ferrari back to the operating room can greatly calm nerves in preparation for medical procedures. “She was nervous in this environment,” said Lilla’s mom Naree. “I think comfort for children is key to making sure they have a good experience. Experiences you have as a child with medicine can really influence your ability to handle different medical situations as an adult.”
“To hear a child say ‘I was brave, I did that and I’m proud of myself for doing that’ is what I love most about my job,” said Christina. Child life specialists visit children throughout the hospital whether they are staying
for a day or overnight. Your support provides child life specialists with the many toys and technology they use in easing the way for our youngest patients.