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Here is more on how "Ten for Teens" make a big difference for teen patients at Texas Children's Hospital West Campus:

Dear Pin Oak friends,

I want to share a story about the “Ten for Teens” program Pin Oak and Friends sponsor.

I received a call to assist a family from out of town coming for a CT scan at TCH West campus.
Mother was concerned they would make the 2.5 hour trip and the patient (16 years old) would not comply.  The patient has autism and is over sensitive to touch and afraid of needles. 

For this exam the child would need an I.V. which mother shared would be difficult due to sensory issues and fear of needles.  The patient would also have to drink three cups of oral contrast over the course of an hour, which was also a concern. Finally, the patient would need to then agree to be still while laying in the CT scanner.

Further complicating matters the patient would be hungry, after having nothing to eat or drink since midnight.  The patient would have to endure the 2.5 hour trip to Houston, then tolerate the 2 hour process preparing for the procedure once on campus.
As you can imagine at 16 years old, they get bigger and stronger and more adamant about what they are willing to endure.

It was really important to gain the patient’s trust and compliance to make the exam successful for all. As mother and I spoke to develop a plan, mother reported the patient loved Target! I knew right away- I had a motivator, thanks to “Ten for Teens”!

When the family arrived the next day, I had three target gift cards and a Pin Oak Pony in waiting.  I provided verbal and picture preparation for the patient and mother, explaining step by step how the visit would go.  My patient was quick to communicate protest and dislike. With my Target cards in hand and implementing Child Life services, I was able to offer a little incentive in exchange for cooperation.

Teenagers are especially difficult to reward as a small toy or stuffed animal isn’t always appealing to them. The “Ten for Teens” gift cards helped provide an exciting incentive to motivate the patient to compliance. Many thanks for supporting “Ten for Teens.”

Rachael Walker, BA, CCLS
Certified Child Life Specialist
Texas Children's Hospital West Campus

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