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two nurses with a paediatric patient

Acting Nurse Unit Manager Grady McNee and Registered Nurse Tammie Gough with one of their young patients, happy to use the Smileyscope.

Community support delivers Smileyscope

Jul 01, 2021

Port Macquarie Base Hospital has its second Smileyscope thanks to community support.

The specialised piece of medical equipment has been bought by the Paediatric Unit from public donations after the virtual reality headset proved a gamechanger for children being cared for in the Emergency Department.

The ED Smileyscope was donated by the Rotary Club of Port Macquarie West in February and has proved so successful in changing the way children are cared for during medical procedures that a second set was sought for children admitted to hospital.

The $5000 device gives children a virtual reality experience that is choreographed to a real procedure. The fun vision is a distraction for youngsters having a blood test or having an intravenous needle inserted, significantly reducing their anxiety and that of their parents.

“We heard about the set donated to ED by Port Macquarie West Rotary and how they were really effective in reducing trauma and anxiety in young patients,” Acting Nurse Unit Manager Grady McNee said.

“Based on the positive stories from ED, we decided to buy a set from our community donations. Since then, the headset has proven itself to be an essential piece of medical equipment in our children’s unit.

“The entire paediatric team wants to thank everyone who supported us over the past couple of years because the Smileyscope simply would not have been possible without donations from the public.”

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