What is Ouchless ER?
The goal of Ouchless ER is to make a visit to the emergency room a little more friendly for children. We concentrate on three 'E's to make visits as painless and anxiety-free as possible.
Room 8 of our Emergency Department has been transformed into a space to make children comfortable.
- Medical equipment is stored inside cabinets
- One of the walls has been transformed into a child-friendly mural
Some of the equipment we use helps take the pain out of procedures. For instance:
- Buzzy the Bee is an ice and vibration device that blocks pain for some injections
- Accuvein is a handheld device that makes vein location easy if an IV is needed
- The J-Tip injection system delivers local anesthesia, numbing the skin without using a needle
- When possible, we use adhesive glue instead of stitches and topical pain control medications instead of injections
Our Emergency Department staff have received training from a child life specialist. They have learned age-appropriate ways to reduce stress and anxiety, including:
- Comfort holds. During treatment, the child can sit on her parent's lap and be held by someone she knows and trusts. This comforts the child, and helps prevent the need for additional physical restraint.
- One Voice method. One person - family or staff - is designated to speak soothing words and help explain what is happening throughout the visit. The child can then focus on one trusted voice rather than being confused or overwhelmed by many.
In many cases, simple distractions are used to engage the child in activity - so their focus is shifted away from the treatment and onto the stuffed animal, books, or toys.