Alachua County Fire Department Health and Safety (ACFR) Captain Sarah O. Weed, with help from UF Health Shands Hospital and Florida PEDReady, assembled pediatric distraction toolkits for ACFR rescue vehicles while providing communication cards for each of the department’s engines.
Each kit contains a range of distraction tools intended to reduce fear and anxiety in young patients or those with special needs. Items include sensory toys, coloring books, lollipops, ice packs and more. The toolkits are also equipped with communication cards in English and Spanish that can be used to point out major patient complaints and explain procedures.
“As emergency care providers, it can be challenging to communicate, assess and treat pediatric and special needs patients,” Capt. Weed said. “They are not always able to effectively express what is wrong or how they feel. Although it is difficult for us, we know that it is even more difficult for the patient who needs our help. I am very passionate about pediatrics, so this project is very close to my heart. I am always looking for ways to improve the quality of our care and our experience when I see these patients. »
For more information, contact Captain Weed at 352-384-3101.