Our team has spent the last 10 days at Augusta Victoria Hospital in Jerusalem. We are on our way home, but wanted to send out a brief wrap-up about what’s been accomplished on this Support & Education Trip.

Staff members in the pediatric hematology/oncology clinic have embraced “Comfort Positions” and are utilizing them to help the children and parents to be more calm and comfortable with medical procedures. This is making a huge difference for the children that come for treatment.

As we wrote in our last post, Comfort Positions involve the use of siting and hugging positions rather than restraint. Parents are invited to hug/hold the child or at least remain very close by while the procedure is being performed.

Comfort Positions work best in concert with other initiatives, such as providing the time and means for the children to play. Case in point, Saturdays and Wednesdays in the pediatric hematology/oncology clinic unit are reserved for patients having blood drawn. Typically 25-35 patients are seen on these days.

This past Saturday the unit saw 28 patients by noon – a record – and every case went smoothly. The key to success was allowing the children to play and relax ahead of their procedures. One patient in particular usually becomes very upset and the assistance of 3-4 staff is required to draw his blood sample. But on Saturday, he came in, played, and then sat down at the table and extended his arm. He remained calm throughout the procedure. We wholeheartedly believe that the ability to play reduced his stress. He felt safer and more in control.

One of the nurses said he hopes the clinic will go from being the “crying clinic” to the “cry-less clinic.” The staff is well on its way to making the clinic a happier, calm place. Add the love and compassion given by the special nurses at AVH, and we know the laughing will ring louder than the cries.

There are many more success stories from this trip, and we hope and pray the success continues once we are gone.