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Cartoon visors cheer young patients

Pictured from left to right (front to back) at a recent MDT CF meeting were: Prof Basil Elnazir, CF/respiratory consultant; Prof Peter Greally, CHI Chief Clinical Director; Ger Connell, CF CNS; Helen Gibbons, CF psychologist; Emma Kilbride, CF respiratory physiologist, Ger Leen, CF CNS, Dr Catherine Breen, CF registrar; Ruth Jennings, CF medical social worker; Jessica O’Driscoll, CF dietitian; Ciara Duffy, CF physiotherapist.

Paediatric staff in Tallaght have turned their  PPE into a reassuring ice-breaker for their young patients – thanks to some fun cartoon visors.

Many of the paediatric services in Children’s Health Ireland (CHI) at Tallaght saw a reduction in face-to-face appointments during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. It has been heartening for staff over recent months to see the increase in patient numbers again.

PPE

However, staff in healthcare settings are required to wear an increased amount of PPE in order to protect the patients and themselves. This is quite a change for regular patients to the hospital and might be a bit intimidating for them and also for new patients. This is particularly true in paediatrics.

Children with Cystic Fibrosis visit the hospital regularly. In order that they might be less intimidated by the PPE now being worn, the CF psychologist Helen Gibbons sourced a set of cartoon visors from a company in the UK.

Jon Stynes Designs, based in Cumbria, are making these cartoon visors for the NHS, nursery and infant schools, as well as other childcare settings. Helen spoke with Jon, the owner of the company, who told her that this was his first enquiry from Ireland and kindly offered to donate a set of visors to the CF team.

“We are very grateful for the donation as the cartoon visors have been a huge hit with the children and their families. The visors are a great icebreaker and have certainly detracted from the anxiety the children might have experienced,” said Helen.

“They are fun and make the children smile. They enjoy guessing what animal is being represented in the visor worn by each of the team. The visors have got many admiring glances and comments and you can see why!”

She said a big thank you to Tommy Walsh, Medical Photography, for attending a recent CF MDT Meeting and taking this photograph of the team in their cartoon visors.