Staff in the Children’s Therapy Program in Yorkton have gone the extra mile to prepare children for the new normal that will be associated with appointments amidst COVID-19.
“We typically work with very young children and those with physical and cognitive delays. It is important that children be comfortable in the clinic setting to be able to provide effective treatment,” said Linda Spracklin-Cross, Manager, Primary Health Care Manager, Children's Therapy Program/KidsFirst.
Prior to their appointment, each family receives a social story – a short
description using situation-specific photos, information and a child-friendly
narrative to help them become familiar with the new and different processes and procedures to expect at their first appointment following the resumption of therapy services. “Children may respond negatively to changes in routine and be frightened of staff in masks. We felt sending the social story ahead of time would ease fear and anxiety,” Spracklin-Cross explained.
In addition to walking families through the entire appointment, the social story explains the importance of and how to use hand sanitizer on arrival and departure, provides photos of client-specific clinical staff with and without masks and PPE, and photos and details of a thermometer, how it will be used, and questions clients will be asked about their health.
A social story is being provided to Children's Therapy Program clients and their families in Yorkton prior to their first appointment now that therapy services have resumed. The social story was customized by each therapist for their clients as a way to help them adjust to the changes they will experience when they visit for the first time. Pictured above is Krista Pitcher-Bennet, a Dental Health Educator, who was taking a turn at the patient screening-temperature check station.