[SHANNON BROZAK]: This little boy had sustained an injury underneath of his arm and… was referred to my clinic for wound cares, dressing changes, that sort of thing. And when he came in he was pretty scared and very reluctant to pick his arm up… so that we could even begin to examine the wound, not to mention even taking the dressing off. [AMANDA ISENSEE]: Very apprehensive as a young child would be… “Don’t touch my owie” and guarding it and kind of not knowing what’s going on. And [he was] sad, there were tears. [SHANNON BROZAK]: Typically I try to talk them through, coach through and… work really closely with my clinic nursing staff who is the masters at distracting kids. And unfortunately just wasn’t completely successful with our usual techniques. And so it was one of my clinic nurses that came up with the brilliant idea of using a balloon or… blowing an exam glove up to act as a balloon in order to try to get him to start to play volleyball. And low and behold it worked amazingly well. We were able to take the dressing off, I was able to examine the wound, strategically of course, in between hits of the glove in the air… but overall we were still able to take care of his wound and take care of the dressing as well. [AMANDA ISENSEE]: He was happy and smiling and mom was happy and smiling… so it just turned out to be a situation that was kind of scary for this little person… into something that wasn’t as scary anymore and actually a little fun. [SHANNON BROZAK]: Subsequent visits actually he was much more calm. We still did have to use the balloon going forward as techniques for the next one or two visits… but eventually he was able to…he was comfortable raising his arm up and… comfortable with us examining his wound, taking care of the dressing, that sort of thing. I think as healthcare workers, we encounter challenging situations all the time and… there’s always a solution to the problem and it’s just a matter of trying to get creative to… come up with an alternative means of taking care of your patients… so that again ultimately the best care can be delivered to the patient… so that they can heal and recover as quickly as possible with the least amount of distress to them as well. [AMANDA ISENSEE]: I think that it’s just kind of hardwired into us. I think we all love what we do and without thinking about it… we’re not looking for gratification or gratitude, or we’re not doing it to be noticed. it just comes natural because that’s kind of how we would feel in that situation or
what we would maybe like to see happen. …without thinking about, “how can I make this patient’s experience better,” it just happens.