Healthier Me: Healthy Distractions Make Going to the Doctor Fun - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Healthier Me: Healthy Distractions Make Going to the Doctor Fun

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Dolls, vibrating bees and iPads may not be considered the most high-tech medical equipment, but at Sanford Health Children's hospital they can be some of the most important tools doctors use.

Hospitals can be scary and confusing for kids. If a child is being treated for a disease that requires long doctor visits or multiple medical procedures -- they can face a lot of needles. But, technology is making it easier for young patients.

Brody Strahm used to scream when a nurse or doctor would come into the room. He was diagnosed at 22 months with liver cancer. Kelsey Strahm says distraction techniques made all the difference for her son, she says "he loves coming to the doctor now."

Child Life Specialist Melissa Schmautz says, "If we can make their experience a little better, that's what we want to do."

Sanford Health uses a lot of different distraction techniques. They use dolls to show and explain what treatments a child will receive. A new small vibrating bee is used to confuse the nerves in the arm before a shot or blood draw is done. And, the iPad is used to entertain and distract patients. It is popular with infants all the way up to teenagers.

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