Website helps children prep for hospital experience

May 2017

General Practitioners

Country of origin: USA

Lucile Packard Children?s Hospital recently launched a new interactive website for children ages 5 to 12 to learn what to expect during a hospital visit.

This playfully animated, bilingual site is filled with interactive games and demonstrations, such as how to prepare for a hospital visit and what to expect for tests and treatments. Kids can also check out the hospital?s activities and resources - the library, school, cafeteria and playrooms - through photos and on-location videos.

?It?s a perfect addition to our child-friendly environment,? said Debby Monzack, CCLS, a child life specialist. ?It lets children familiarise themselves with the hospital experience and helps them feel more confident and in control while they?re here.?

On the site, kids can personalise their own character to lead them through activities that demystify the hospital. Colourfully-animated test and treatment sections ? blood draw, IV, x-ray, CT scan, MRI scan and anaesthesia ? provide step-by-step understanding of how it all works.

There?s also a packing game that encourages kids to select items from a virtual bedroom to bring to the hospital. They also meet staff members and even spend time with a virtual roommate. It?s all very interactive: kids can decorate their IV, choose a relaxing daydream and even select the right outfit for the day of their treatment.

?Kids in this age group process things through repetition,? said nurse practitioner Ginny Curtin, an ear, nose and throat specialist. ?I tell parents not to be surprised if their children want to discuss their experiences over and over. They are not obsessing, they?re learning. It?s normal.?

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