Pediatric ER tailored to be sensitive to the very specific needs of our youngest patients
With Child-Life therapists and virtual reality goggles, Health First’s Pediatric Emergency Department at Holmes Regional Medical Center is the only one of its kind in the county.
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – For Brevard kids, it’s und-ER the sea in case of emergency. That means a trip to the county’s only dedicated Pediatric Emergency Department at Health First’s Holmes Regional Medical Center. Its walls and floors are covered in cartoon sea creatures – even the X-ray machine is a submarine!
That’ll help keep kids’ attention on something other than their emergency. Parents, meanwhile, have the full attention of a medical staff that knows that kid emergencies get a little special treatment.
The unit is more than fun walls, said Dr. Danielle Devereaux, who directs the department, “though it’s beautiful there, and that sense of ease is intentional.”
Health First’s Pediatric Emergency Department maintains a team of nurses trained in pediatrics. They’re ready for bawling injection-takers, but they know, too, that kid doses, often a fraction of adults’, must be very precise.
And, there’s two Child Life Specialists on the floor. Their job is to explain matters just right for young patients, sometimes counseling parents in the process. They’re always ready with a toy or a therapeutic activity to help kids understand the care they’re getting and the fear they may be feeling.
The department is stocked with pediatric medical supplies, which is not always true of other ERs — appropriately sized tubes and catheters, instruments, even gowns.
Anything “pokey” gets a topical numbing cream, Dr. Devereaux said, but if there isn’t time, a bumble bee gadget may be pulled from the freezer to numb and “buzz” just above the injection site, helping to distract the child from the injection process. It’s proven!
“The vibrations and the cold do a couple of things to the pain centers to decrease what the child perceives,” Dr. Devereaux said.
And for a more immersive escape, kids get kindVR Virtual Reality Therapy – an interactive headset experience to assist in positive distraction.
“We have specialized lights in the room that work to calm the scene. I have an X-ray machine that looks like a submarine. All of these put kids at ease,” Dr. Devereaux said.
“Our Pediatric Emergency Room is tailored to be sensitive to the very specific needs of our youngest patients,” said Brett Esrock, Health First CEO of Hospital Services, “and it’s a showpiece for what Health First can bring to this community that we value so much.”
The more than 3,200-square-foot unit was developed in partnership with AdventHealth for Children in Orlando.
To learn more, visit HF.org/PedsER.