As the supervisory nurse for Pediatric Specialties, Mary Beth Henry, MSN-RN, CPN, knows the stress families feel every time they walk into a waiting room.
“They’re seeing a specialist, so there’s something maybe a little more concerning to the parents when they come here, and they’re worried about what they’re going to hear,” she said.
Fortunately, it doesn’t take a lot to change that. At least not for kids.
Any parent who’s attempted to walk past a toy aisle with a child knows the distractive power of play. Proceeds from INSYNC 2018, CU’s premier lip-syncing contest, created a dedicated play area in the department’s waiting area designed to put young patients at ease.
INSYNC 2019 at The City Center in Champaign. Proceeds benefited Pediatric Therapy Services at Carle. Hosted by Carle Health Center for Philanthropy and The Core, a group of young professionals who advocate for Carle in our community, INSYNC raises money in support of projects benefitting women and children.
And Henry couldn’t be happier with the results of their latest effort.
“The kids’ corner is awesome because our patients are here for extended periods of time,” she said. “Our shortest appointment would be approximately 20 minutes up to an hour while others are here for multiple hours.”
The kids’ corner helps reduce the anxiety with fun features like a table of magnetic fish, seascapes and wall-mounted puzzle challenges.
“One of them is a noise-making spinning wheel and another is like a Rubik’s cube,” Henry said. “Even teenagers are captivated by the interactive displays.”
The kid-friendly spaces are a welcome addition in an environment removed from the comforts of home.
“Doing things like this makes the tests and exams easier because kids see it’s OK to come to the doctor,” Henry said.
With the success of the first corner, more than a dozen additional corners will soon appear throughout Carle, thanks to funds provided by last year’s INSYNC event.