StoryPanels is a very useful tool for hospital staff to help children to think about something other than pain by focusing on fantasy and positive thoughts.
Herlev Hospital has one of Denmark’s largest paediatric units. The unit has StoryPanels mobile folding screens installed in each of its eight two-bed wards, as well as one mobile bed end screen in the emergency room.
“Children shouldn’t have to feel pain. For this reason, we focus a lot on pain management, partly through medication and, to a large extent, through fantasy games and positive distraction. This makes it a natural choice for us to have StoryPanels installed in the unit. They provide both privacy and distraction – and are easy to keep close at hand,” says Annemarie Tang, charge nurse of ward 2 in Herlev Hospital’s paediatric unit.
Herlev Hospital’s paediatric unit is located on the 20th floor and has colourful, child-friendly surroundings. The unit treats children and young people who are acutely ill or have had surgery.
“StoryPanels can be used to create privacy, to provide a positive distraction, for instance when medication is administered, or as a topic for comforting conversation”
Annemarie Tang, charge nurse, paediatric unit, Herlev Hospital.
“Using StoryPanels is a natural choice for us, since we focus on family-oriented care on several levels. The StoryPanels can be used to create privacy, to provide a positive distraction, for instance when medication is administered, or as a topic for comforting conversation. If a child needs to undergo a demanding examination or procedure, the staff always work in pairs. One distracts the child while the other carries out the procedure,” explains Annemarie Tang.
STAFF AND PARENTS USE THE SCREENS
The screens are mobile instead of fixed to the walls. This is a deliberate choice. Staff can move the screens to wherever they are needed, and parents can use them to give the child peace and privacy.
“We want to incorporate StoryPanels into our skills programme regarding children and pain management, and we encourage parents to talk to the children about the pictures on the screens. Parents are our greatest resource. Their experience of the child’s reaction to pain is valuable to us. I am also certain that our excellent hospital clowns can use the StoryPanels to help entertain the children.”
SCREENS IN A PAEDIATRIC UNIT MUST BE STABLE
The unit previously had textile patient curtains installed on the ceiling, but they were removed for hygiene reasons and replaced with screens with textile or plastic.
“But those mobile screens were heavy and unstable. A paediatric unit must have stable screens that do not risk falling on top of the children. StoryPanels is stable and easy to use in our daily work. And they’re also hygienic,” Annemarie Tang points out.
DESIGN THAT STIMULATES IMAGINATION
Silentia’s StoryPanels help caregivers to make children feel more comfortable by creating a positive distraction by changing focus to something playful. The colours, shapes and funny figures all have a purpose to give a positive psychological effect, a calm feeling and to stimulate the imagination.
Positive distraction can reduce children’s pain. Distraction means helping the child think about something fun or exciting and change focus to something new and positive.