RiverBend Hospital works to dispel pediatric patient fears during pandemic

Staff at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend are working to show young patients and their families that important appointments during the pandemic are safe and not scary.

Posted: Jun 14, 2020 3:10 PM

SPRINGFIELD, Ore.-- Staff at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend are working to show young patients and their families that important appointments during the pandemic are safe.

Staff members said they are concerned that families with pediatric patients are avoiding check-ups and immunizations due to coronavirus fears. For children, regular visits can be anxiety-inducing, and pandemic precautions may heighten those concerns.

Friday, they filmed videos of children putting on a face mask and getting a coronavirus test in order to normalize pandemic precautions and procedures for those with worries about medical settings during this time.

9-year-old Marieange Modeste was filmed as she got a coronavirus test. She said that the staff walked her through every step and made her feel comfortable with the procedure.

"I think she used really good words when she told me she was going to do it. I felt really comforted when she was there," she said.
"It kind of felt like a little bit of pressure inside of your nose. It's like putting a q-tip up your nose. It's doesn't hurt that much. Your eyes water a bit."

Certified Child Life Specialist Megan Massey said that it may be tempting to try and protect children from information about visits that feel unusual or scary, but making sure they are prepared can make everything go more smoothly. 

"We know that when parents are feeling anxious or nervous or worried about something, kids pick up on that. So if we can prepare and support parents, kids will pick up on that as well," she said. 

RiverBend staff will be posting the videos online for parents and children to see.

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