The hospital can be filled with scary unknowns for children, including sounds, smells, feelings, and faces. However, at Flushing Hospital Medical Center there is one face that the children grow to recognize: Rashmi Momaya. Rashmi is the only Child Life Specialist at Flushing Hospital Medical Center and has dedicated her work to helping alleviate the stress that accompanies a hospital visit. In 2008, enCourage Kids Foundation funded the hospital’s first Child Life Program and we have been an important partner in their work ever since. Recently, we funded a VECTA Deluxe Mobile Sensory Station. The VECTA machine is a transportable station that has a CD player, a projector, fiber optic cables for tactile touch, aromatherapy, and an interactive bubble column in which the speed of the bubbles and the color of the column can be controlled by the patient.
The VECTA machine creates a way for Rashmi to use non-pharmaceutical methods that help her patients cope with their anxiety and fear during painful procedures, such as blood draws, IV placements, drain removals, dressing changes, and lumbar punctures. This interactive machine provides hospitalized children and their families with choices, distraction, and a sense of control.
Since Flushing Hospital only has a one-person Child Life program, the VECTA machine is an instrumental tool, allowing Rashmi to constantly move between the Pediatric Floor and Pediatric Emergency Room to help even more children experience a comfortable and more positive hospital visit.