Ukiah Daily Journal from Ukiah, California on July 17, 1974 · Page 37
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Ukiah Daily Journal from Ukiah, California · Page 37

Ukiah, California
Issue Date:
Wednesday, July 17, 1974
Page 37
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14-A—Ukiah Daily Journal Wednesday, July 17, 1974 Helping children face the hospital MAKING a big splash are these San Rafael, Calif., high school students who celebrated the start of their summer vacation with a jubilant dive into the Corte Madera Creek. By DIANE CURTIS STANFORD, Calif. (UPI) — A first hospital experience can be uncomfortable to an adult. To a child, it can be terrifying. Betty Lovelace, pediatric recreation director at Stanford University Medical Center, has developed a program designed to allay those young fears. Based on the concept of Swedish psychologist Erik Eriksen that mastery of an experience in miniature results in control of that situation in a normal environment, Mrs. Lovelace has recreated the hospital setting on a children- sized scale., Following admission to the hospital, the youngster can play with the doll hospital! which consists of a patient room, an intensive care room, an X-ray unit and an operating suite. "By manipulating the make- believe things, children can work through their attitudes . about what is happening to them," says Mrs. Lovelace, who started the program seven years ago on a "purely diversionary" level. "Picking up an X-ray machine or putting a doctor under the bed can be very therapeu- «tic," she says. "Once they haVe mastered the miniature version, they can apply that mastery to the larger situation." The children also have op- portunites to play with a doll that seemingly has the same . ,uh»s»as>the child* Where little Dorothy will be getting an incision, so too does the doll get an incision. Albert has been told he will be fitted with tubes in his nose; he can fit the doll with such tubes. Mrs. Lovelace says that most children are frightened by the unknown hospital experience but that they show their fright in different ways. "Some are aggressive —very brave sounding," she says. "Others are withdrawn and cry." Mrs. Lovelace says her program won't "eliminate a difficult experience" but she says it will let the children know what they're up against and it will inform them that "there will be supporting people' to go through the experience with." The program is not confined solely to the miniature hospital. Mrs. Lovelace offers a preadmission tour of the institution, In which children get a feel, for the setting, meet a nurse and are given a popsicle "so they associate their first visit here as a very pleasant experience," says Mrs. Lovelace. She has also created a reward book in verse and a board game to help make the confinement more palatable. The book, "A Visit to the Hospital," tells the story of Kat's stay in the hospital from admitting to discharge. At the end of the story, there is a chart of procedures for which patients can earn stars and a certificate of bravery that is awarded upon discharge. The goal of the game is to be the first person discharged from the hospital by reaching the home square in, the center. Leaving can be delayed if the player picks a card saying, "You forgot to wear your slippers to theplayrdom, lose a turn," or it can be hastened if the child picks a card reading, "For holding still during a blood test, advance five spaces." Mrs. Lovelace emphasizes that all the programs stress discharge and going home. "Leaving the hospital is an important—wracept to emphasize," she t .ays. "Kat's walking out the door shows that hospitalization is merely an interruption of normal life." Sandi Breen, mother of a 7- year-old open heart surgery patient who went through the program, can't say enough good about it. "I have a r totally positive reaction," says Mrs. Breen, herself a nurse. "Bernadette was naturally apprehensive but she was totally prepared for everything. FINAL SUMMER CLEARANCE JR. a Misses a CHILDREN 25%»50% <« TABLES OF FANTASTIC VALUES OPEN THURS. TIL » IRENE'S TOTS TO TEENS DOWNTOWN' SHOiS 125 NO. STATE OPEN THURSDAY TILL 9:00 yp—a— ii mm wm SANDALS NOW 72 PRICE grasshoppers! 1 DiMMtinwri styi SUMMBSIIES Vi '"<•

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