Being in the hospital all the time is hard on children and their families. The stress of treatment combined with the longing to go home and see friends and family can take a toll on patients.
Child life specialists at MemorialCare Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach are using virtual reality (VR) to distract patients of all ages and distract them from treatment.
VR goggles have proven particularly beneficial before and during minor medical procedures and examinations. Some of these procedures, such as injections, dressing changes, and intravenous therapy (IV), can cause anxiety and mild pain in many patients.
VR goggles allow patients to explore other worlds and landscapes during these procedures, such as traveling to the planet Mars or the natural elements found in national parks. Patients can also play games that are developmental, educational and rehabilitative.
Alicia Richardson, Child Life Specialist, Cherese Mari Laulhere Child Life Program at Miller Children’s & Women’s, said: “They really work and kids of all ages love them. Even her older teens love using them and many even request them.”
Child life professionals are also using VR goggles to bring escape to patients desperate for hospital discharge.
“Many of our patients spend weeks or even months in the hospital for treatment,” says Richardson. “This technology gives them a way out and gets them out of the hospital room or playroom.
VR goggles donated to Child Life Program by Starlight Children’s Foundation as part of a virtual reality program that provides virtual reality goggles preloaded with dynamic, age-appropriate content to over 800 children’s hospitals and other pediatric facilities it was done. Distraction for children in hospital.
said Rita Goshert, Child Life Program Manager at Miller Children’s & Women’s. “Thanks to the generosity of the Starlight Children’s Foundation, VR goggles help distract patients from intimidating and often frightening environments and bring them to a more calm and relaxing place.”