It’s not exactly how you would expect to see a patient recovering from surgery. “The overall goal with this whole thing is just to enhance the patient experience. It even helps the parents as well. When they see their kid smiling and laughing and having fun, all the time I get parents thanking me,” said Shane Swartz Digital, a digital media specialist with Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida.
Madilyne Greene underwent surgery less than 24 hours ago. “I was really sore to where it was hard to move my belly muscles but now that I got the VR and I get to do that it’s easier for me to move around,” she said.
Now, armed with game controllers and a virtual reality headset, she’s no longer focused on the pain. “I thought it was really cool, especially for kids who just got out of surgery and need to walk around,” she said.
The therapeutic video games are used throughout Golisano Children’s Hospital. Each game is age-appropriate and designed to help children manage pain, boredom, anxiety, sadness, even cognitive impairment. “I just think it’s beneficial essentially because it works. It’s using virtual reality in a healthcare setting to provide a better patient experience,” said Swartz.
Using YouTube videos, video games, and virtual reality, Swartz helps kids enjoy their stay in the hospital. “It’s just the most humbling thing to go in and just totally change someone’s whole day,” he said.
The games allow kids to move, interact, and play—and for a few minutes, they’re transformed from a patient back into a child.
View More Health Matters video segments at LeeHealth.org/Healthmatters/
Lee Health in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of health care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For more than 100 years, we’ve been providing our community with personalized preventative health services and primary care to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries. Lee Health - Caring People. Inspiring Care.