ER Uses iPad to Reduce Children’s Pain and Anxiety

iPad Nurses who work in an ER in New York have found an innovative technique that seems to help reduce the anxiety and pain of children who come to the Emergency Room. They allow the child to use an iPad as a form of distraction and to help the child calm down. This, in addition to other comforting techniques help children who are experiencing a medical emergency have an easier time.

The program is called The Children’s Comfort Program, (CCP). It is being used in the emergency department at New York-Presbyterian/ Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital. Nurses are using iPads to help reduce the pain that children who come to the ER are experiencing. The iPad also helps children to calm down during what can be a very intense and scary time.

Although The Children’s Comfort Program is useful for children who are in the ER for the treatment of a broken bone, it is especially useful for kids who are having asthma attacks. There are few things that are as anxiety provoking as when a child is suddenly struggling to breathe. This is true for the child who is having an asthma attack as well as the parents of that child.

It is normal for a child to feel anxious when he or she is having difficulty breathing. Unfortunately, that anxiety can make the child’s asthma symptoms become worse, and it could also interfere with treatment. Nurses have found that a great way to help a child calm down is to let the child use an iPad.

An iPad is the perfect tool for many reasons. There are plenty of entertainment options available on an iPad. Kids can watch videos, listen to music, or play an interactive video game on an iPad. Older children can focus their mind on a game, while younger children could listen to calming music, or watch a video of a favorite cartoon character, for example. This is a kinder, gentler, more natural way to encourage a child to calm down for treatment than the use of physical restraints would be.

Treatment is more efficient on a calm child than on a child who is actively fighting the doctors and nurses. It is also much quicker. Another part of the Children’s Comfort Program involves the use of positions of comfort. Doctors and nurses invite a child to sit on his or her parent’s lap while treatment is administered. Or, the child could be encouraged to hug a parent. This makes an unfamiliar or scary situation a little bit easier to cope with for both the child and the parent.

Image by FHKE on Flickr