Pat Frasca in the Diagnostic Imaging department.
...Pat Frasca with the Diagnostic Imaging's scale model MRI machine. Diagnostic Imaging's
new Child Life specialist uses preparation to reduce the need for sedation during MRIs and CT scans
Child Life preparation for procedures, a long-time Surgery department mainstay at Children's Hospital
, is now part of our Diagnostic Imaging department as well after in-house research confirmed it reduces the need for sedation.In the May/June 2006 study, all 30 patients tested got through Diagnostic Imaging procedures without sedation. Children's Child Life specialist, Pat Frasca, has set up shop in Diagnostic Imaging 40 hours a week, preparing 6- to 13-year-olds for MRIs and 4- to 8-year-olds for CT scans.
"My goal is to minimize each child's stress and anxiety; that's why I choose developmentally appropriate ways to prepare each patient."
Pat helps children express their concerns and offers them techniques to manage anxiety during the procedure.For MRIs and CT scans some kids like listening to music or stories, and others prefer daydreaming.For IV starts, Pat
teaches children and their caregivers distraction and relaxation techniques.
With many, Pat
works on breathing."What do we usually do when we are worried or anxious?"asked Pat
."We hold our breath.But breathing is the most powerful way to manage fear."
Helping kids experience mastery over medical procedures is her
goal, said Pat
.Preparation and medical play help them and their parents cope with the overall healthcare experience.Parents with little medical background can learn language and techniques to use at home.
One of Pat's
most useful tools is the scale model MRI built by volunteer Jensen Young.
Nigel has observed that Diagnostic Imaging staffers working with Pat
are picking up her Child Life techniques for easing the patient and family experience.
said that when time permits, she
also provides preparation and support for other procedures.