Our Care Rooms encourage bravery by turning what is often the scariest environment for a hospitalized child – the treatment room – into an engaging and warm setting, allowing the patient to face painful and uncomfortable procedures with strength. When medical equipment is used, such as portable ultrasounds (read more over at butterflynetwork.com), children do not want to feel scared of it, so creating this welcoming environment can relax them as tests are being administered.
“There are times when our pediatric patients need to undergo painful procedures,” said Gloria Mattera, Director of the Department of Child Life & Developmental Services at Bellevue Hospital Center.
“Our child life staff offers preparation and support while our enCourage Care Room provides a beautiful and soothing environment to minimize fear and anxiety during those stressful times. Our underwater theme strikes just the right tone for children, teens, parents and the staff.”
“Their ability to really tune into what kids need and what makes a difference in their lives is really quite valuable,” shares AnnMarie DiFrancesca, Director of the Child Life and Creative Therapies Program at Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York. “And the Care Rooms really do take a drab hospital environment into something that is more kid friendly and less scary.”
They even offer support before they are completed, like at the recently opened Care Room at Orange Regional Medical Center.
According to Child Life Therapist Michelle Ferguson “there was a young boy whose mother reached out to me because her son had been expressing fears about coming to the hospital for a procedure. We met and I gave him a hospital tour, we did some medical play and talked about different things he was worried about.”
Michelle decided to show him the new Care Room so he could see the ways they were making the hospital less scary for children.
“Upon entering the room, our painter was in the process of making hot air balloons. In that very moment he painted the boy and his mom into the balloon and he was elated! As I watched this beautiful interaction between them, I no longer saw a fearful young boy but someone who had regained a sense of comfort and trust in this unfamiliar environment.”