Rheid Havard is a happy 6-year-old boy, but a visit to the ER for an infection could easily have dampened his spirits.
Thanks to the trained pediatric nurses of the Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital ER and the team of child life specialists who are skilled at reducing stress of young patients, Rheid was all smiles, enjoying a fishing game on his tablet computer.
Nurses prepared Rheid’s arm for an IV so he could receive antibiotics. But first, they would use an ingenious method to numb his skin for the needle stick: blasting pressurized lidocaine via a jet of pressurized air.
“I caught another fish!” Rheid beamed, oblivious to pediatric nurse Lauren Frosch, RN, and charge nurse Danielle Landaiche, RN, inserting a child-sized IV needle painlessly into his arm.
Patty Prentice has been a Child Life specialist for 12 years. She’s part of a department whose job is to help by relaxing, distracting, entertaining and explaining to young patients what’s happening.
“They aren’t as anxious, which allows the doctors and nurses to work more effectively,” Prentice said.