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At the Childrens Hospital of Pittsburgh, about half of patients need to be sedated to get a simple x-ray done because of fear and anxiety.
In 2015, a Child Life Specialist came to us to find a "waterproof, easy to clean" cover for a few cords that hang in the x-ray rooms. This, she thought, would reduce the fear for children.
Our team was able to expand this project and re-design the x ray experience for children and their families, lowering the rate of sedation in children.
This project was awarded second place at the 2016 Winter Design Expo at the University of Pittsburgh for engineering with the humanities.
First, we observed patients get x-rays done at the hospital.
Next we engaged in role-play, where I pretended to be a child getting an x-ray, and my team member was my mom.
Through this experience, I found that I felt sick- and I wasn't even a patient.
Entering a cold, grey room, and laying down on a cold, hard surface while a giant machine took pictures of my insides was a terrifying experience.
This is why we decided to take this project a step further.
LOOKING AT THE ENTIRE EXPERIENCE
We decided to create a new experience for the children. Instead of walking into a cold, grey room, they would now walk into an outer space adventure: strapping themselves into the "rocket ship", stars will line the ceiling, and the technican's corner would now be the "control center."
Suddenly, a scary experience isn't so scary anymore.
Concept: Transform this.....
We still began by completing the hospitals request: covering the cords. We found themed shower curtains to accomplish this, which we would base the room's atmosphere around.
PROGRESS AND FUTURE STEPS
Right now, all of the cords are covered as per the hospitals request. Work orders are being put in place to get full-sized wall art to match the theme, and other room accessories are being ordered.
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