Hospital Care

Virtual Reality Helping To Cure Homesickness

Medical experts at The Prince Charles Hospital Children’s Emergency Department and the Caboolture Hospital are using Virtual Reality technology to make hospital visits less traumatic for children.

The Virtual Reality headsets were purchased by The Common Good using funds from the National Curing Homesickness initiative and its major partner, Coles. The initiative helps get kids home from hospital sooner by investing in vital funding needs such as innovative research, the latest equipment and amazing health professionals that provide care for sick kids.

Children’s Emergency Departments typically featured colourful murals on the walls or bed screens as a way of providing distractions from stressful or painful medical procedures. The use of Virtual Reality headsets, however, provide a truly immersive and interactive experience which has proven to be even more effective. As the children are distracted, staff can perform their tasks with speed and efficiency.

The Virtual Reality headsets can include customised programs, games and apps to help distract kids or simply to provide them with an opportunity to have fun.

The Prince Charles Hospital’s Children's Emergency Department Clinical Director, Dr David Wood believes new equipment like the Virtual Reality headsets are invaluable in a busy Children’s Emergency department.

“Hospital is a traumatic place for people of all ages, but it is a very scary environment for children. These headsets give children a chance to escape from the hospital environment while they are being treated,” he explains.

As well as improving the experience for the children themselves, the headsets are also beneficial for parents or family members who often find it distressing when their loved one has a needle or undergoes a medical procedure.

The Common Good’s Chief Executive Officer, Michael Hornby, explains how the Curing Homesickness initiative will make a difference to the lives of sick kids.

“The Curing Homesickness campaign, through its major partner Coles, has raised vital funding towards buying the latest equipment for The Prince Charles Hospital children’s service which cares for around 30,000 children every year”, he said.

“Equipment such as the Virtual Reality headsets, along with the fabulous care provided by our amazing health professional are helping kids in hospital get back home where they belong. We are so grateful for the ongoing support of Coles and the Curing Homesickness”.

Published: Friday, March 25 2022

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