Jewels Doskicz is a registered nurse, freelance writer, patient advocate, health coach, and long-distance cyclist. Jewels is the moderator of Diabetic Connect’s weekly #DCDE Twitter chat, and she and her daughter both live healthfully with type 1 diabetes.
Vomit, faint, run or hide, the needles still keep on coming with type 1 diabetes.
Thanks to a recent innovation by Aldebaran Robotics there is a more effective way to ease needle anxiety in children. Their robot priced at $15,000 isn't out of the realm of affordable investments for hospitals — as far as pricey and effective medical devices go, this is cheap.
According to The New York Times, Dr. Beran and her coworkers found a robot’s presence produced pain reduction effects in children, but the benefits didn't stop there. "Children recovered more quickly, smiling and relaxing almost immediately after the needle was removed," according to the article. All notable achievements in the world of pediatric medicine.
Studies show that when children experience distress in a healthcare situation they are less likely to be compliant with their health as an adult; an outcome no one is interested in having.
Pediatric hospitals definitely beat to their own drum with their unique specialty care focused on kids and families. But this doesn't always hold true, and especially not in hospitals that aren't built around catering to younger clientele.
For instance, in a pediatric hospital prepping for a swallowing study you may be asked, "Does your child like regular milk or chocolate milk?" A small but important detail if it's your child. In non-pediatric settings the attention to detail and special pediatric needs can fall by the wayside along with patient and family satisfaction.
Let's set something straight: children are not little adults. They need tender loving kindness and age appropriate interventions. In the face of illness, new diagnoses, and social situations, most children digress and can act much younger than their age. The simplest of acts can make a child's negative experience shift to a positive one.
I've been a nurse for nearly two decades and I've never met a child that likes needles (let alone an adult). Everyone has different coping mechanisms and for most people, physical and emotional responses to pain dampen over time (sad, but true), but that doesn't mean repeated pain, like with type 1 diabetes, is easy. Why not introduce needles into their innocent world with the help of a robotic friend?