Children Get a Dose of TLC with Winthrop's
‘Positions for Comfort' Program


Vol. 10, No. 1
March, 2000

  • Women's Gastrointestinal Health Center

  • Hernia Surgery: A New Look...A Speedier Recovery

  • Legislative Grant Supports Specialized Endoscopy Equipment

  • Pulmonary Rehabilitation Gives Patient a Starring Role in His Daughter's Wedding

  • An Update on Childhood Immunizations

  • Children Get a Dose of TLC with Winthrop's ‘Positions for Comfort' Program

  • Winthrop's Pediatric Health Immunization Program is a Statewide Model

  • Hearing Screening Performed on All Newborns

  • Spanish Language Course for Pediatric Residents

  • Psychological Support Adds Compassion to Pediatric Care and Training

  • Long Island Regional Poison Control Center at Winthrop Warns:
    ‘Children Act Fast - So Do Poisons'

  • Bereavement Support Helps Parents Cope with "Hidden Loss"

  • Nursing Informatics Enhances Patient Care

  • Reverend Winfried R. Hess Appointed Director of Pastoral Care and Education

  • Auxiliary Receives HANYS Advocacy Award

  • John F. Aloia, MD and Joan Cox Elected to Winthrop's Board of Directors

  • Copyright

    Back to Publications

  • Seven-year-old Dana Lipera (second from L) is held in a firm, comforting hug by her aunt, Joanne Capuano (second from R) as Pediatric Nurse Jane Larke, RN (R) draws blood. At the left, Christy O'Keefe, Acting Child Life Program Coordinator, blows soap bubbles - a pleasant distraction for Dana, the daughter of Susan and Tom Lipera.
    Child Life Specialists at Winthrop have initiated an educational program that is radically altering the way treatments are administered to children in the Hospital. Called "Positions for Comfort," the program teaches parents how to hold and comfort their children during potentially unpleasant procedures, such as intravenous line placement or blood drawing. The technique represents a departure from standard methods, which could involve medical personnel holding the child in place while the parents stand by watching. Instead, the child is embraced by the parent as the medical treatment is conducted.

    "Essentially we are trying to give parents a sense of participation and control in the care of their hospitalized child," explained Christy O'Keefe, Acting Child Life Program Coordinator. "We recognize that the parent is the main source of comfort to a child."

    While the child is likely to be soothed by his parent's embrace, many parents also report feeling empowered by this sense of involvement in their child's medical care.

    Winthrop's Pediatric Health Immunization Program is a Statewide Model

    Winthrop's Pediatricians were awarded a Certificate of Recognition from the Nassau County Department of Health, and a Certificate of Participation from the New York State Department of Health Immunization Program, for their role in assessing the immunization levels of two-year-old children through participation in the New York State Department of Health Provider Based Immunization Initiative (PBII). Winthrop's Department of Pediatrics also received recognition by the American Academy of Pediatrics as a model program for completeness of immunization. The review of more than 500 patients' charts of children from newborns through the age of three years contributed to this honorable designation.

    "Parents often feel overwhelmed when their child is hospitalized. They can be intimidated by all the medical professionals surrounding their child," noted Ms. O'Keefe. "The 'Positions for Comfort' training reinforces the parents' vital role as part of the overall healthcare team."

    Winthrop's Child Life Specialists and pediatric residents are trained to implement "Positions for Com-fort." After teaching parents how to firmly hold their child in a variety of hug positions, clinicians find the child is much calmer, and they have an easier time gaining access to arms and legs in order to place an intravenous line, draw blood, or administer shots.

    "Nothing is worse for parents than seeing their child sick and in pain," said Ms. O'Keefe. "This program gives parents a greater sense of control, which in turn helps the child relax, and that makes the healthcare professionals' jobs easier."

    Winthrop's Child Life Program is a component of Children's Health Services, part of the Hospital's Institute for Family Care. Staffed by professional Child Life Specialists, the program is dedicated to meeting the unique emotional needs of hospitalized children and their families. For additional information, call Children's Health Services at 1-877-559-KIDS.



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