ACFR Captain Weed Assembles Pediatric Tool Kits to Better Communicate with Young Patients

Press release from Alachua County

Alachua County Fire Rescue (ACFR) Health & Safety Captain Sarah O. Weed, with the assistance of UF Health Shands Hospital and Florida PEDReady, has assembled pediatric distraction tool kits for ACFR rescue vehicles while providing communication cards for each of the department’s engines.

Each kit contains an array of distraction tools meant to decrease fear and anxiety in young patients or those with special needs. The items include sensory toys, coloring books, pacifiers, ice packs, and many others. The toolboxes are also equipped with both English and Spanish communication cards that can be used to indicate chief patient complaints and explain procedures.

“As emergency care providers, it can be challenging to communicate, assess, and treat pediatric and special needs patients,” stated Captain Weed. “They are not always able to effectively express what is wrong or how they are feeling. Though it is challenging for us, we know it is even harder for the patient who needs our assistance. I am very passionate about pediatrics, so this project is very close to my heart. I am always looking for ways to improve our quality of care and experience when encountering these patients.”