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Creative ideas helping children get tested

Sock puppet smiles

June 2020

Creative ideas helping children get tested

Creative thinking, and some sewing know-how, has made a big difference to the youngest of our patients at the Summer Hill drive-through COVID-19 clinic.

Child and Family Health nurse Mary Milne noticed that some children coming to be tested with their parents were feeling worried and anxious at times.

“When we register the families we wear a mask and goggles and often that can be very overwhelming for the little ones” Mary said.

Demonstrating the procedure is also difficult. “Because we wear PPE we can’t show the children how wide they should open their mouth.”

“I was using my hands to demonstrate but that wasn’t very effective.”

That’s when Mary came up with the idea of creating a sock puppet.

“Murph the sock puppet can show children how to open their mouth and tilt their head, and I can use him to show them where we will swab”.

Mary has also made sure that safety is a priority.

“I show Murph to the children while the other nurse does the swab. The puppets never come in to contact with anyone in the car.”

Nurse Unit Manager Alison Wallbank said showing children the testing process does make them feel more comfortable.

“Murph is also a great distraction for kids while they wait for their turn” she said.

Mary is working on introducing the sock puppets to other COVID-19 testing clinics.

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