Texas hospital debuts state-of-the-art pediatric ambulance

Shambhavi Rimal
Lubbock Avalanche Journal, Texas

LUBBOCK, Texas – Covenant Children’s this week showcased its recently added state-of-the-art ambulance that addresses the needs of young children.

The ambulance is made to travel short or long distances to pick up patients in need, Covenant officials said Wednesday, and has capabilities for patients as small as infants who need neonatal intensive care services for toddlers and teens.

Covenant Children’s unveiled its new pediatric ambulance on Wednesday. (Shambhavi Rimal/AJ Media)

Cherish Brodbeck, coordinator of special transport at Covenant, said the ambulance looks kid-friendly, is equipped with a DVD player and a screen where children can watch videos while being transported, a radio for older children to listen to music. All these features have been added to try and calm the kids in the ambulance environment.

“The caregivers who are with them are all pediatrically trained, so they can really focus on those kids,” Brodbeck said. “So it’s a much healthier, friendlier environment for kids.”

Blake Crawford (11) was one of the first patients transported in Covenant Children’s Hospital’s new vehicle.

He said that after being injured in the cafeteria, he was a little scared when the ambulance arrived. However, the paramedics in the ambulance were very nice and calmed him down.

Blake’s mother Kim Crawford added that the people from the ambulance made such a difference to them, also describing them as calming, friendly and knowledgeable about what they were doing. They had the awesome ambulance with all the fun lights and the screens that put them all at ease.

“They were quick to reassure us, they will take good care of him,” she said.

Brooke Falkenberg, a specialist transportation nurse, said nurses trained in pediatrics or for the NICU learn a number of different skills and techniques than those who care for adult patients.

“Not only do you learn to take care of the body, but you also have to focus a lot more on taking care of the mind and the emotions,” Falkenberg said. “We can’t say, you know, ‘Here’s your medicine, take it.’ You have to work in those aspects of caring for those patients because they’re small and usually don’t really understand what’s going on.

The children are comforted while loading into the ambulance. And in almost all cases, they let a parent drive the ambulance so the kids have someone they can trust and trust, Falkenberg said.

Traditional EMS providers are trained to do all things, but they aren’t necessarily trained specifically in pediatrics or for NICU patients, adding to this they can increase the level of care in the ambulance, Brodbeck said.

“We can provide people who are specially trained, like Brooke, in that environment, and they’re going to provide better care.” she said.

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(c) 2021 Lubbock Avalanche Journal (Lubbock, Texas)

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