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Machinists create Child Life Learning Tool

Machinists create Child Life Learning Tool

Erin Behen, our child life specialist, is always looking for good ways to prepare children with cancer for the various processes and procedures they undergo during their journey. She has medical play materials to use on stuffed animals, provides animals with similar medical equipment as the patient (she’s even sown scars onto them), and demonstrates procedures (such as mask making) on a couple of 18-inch dolls, girls and boys, some without hair. But she was missing a good tool to show the kids what they can expect during their CT scan at the center.

So our machinists Brad Ridgeway and Mike Soden built Erin a miniature CT scanner. The model has a moving table that fits an 18-inch doll and allows the doll to be pushed through the machine. The model has all the buttons you might find on an actual scanner, and is portable and light! And, they even created a specialized attachment for the rare case that a child needs to be simulated face-down.

Erin demonstrated the new tool to two of our current patients in the CT room. They were delighted to be able to play with the model, and to tell Erin if it was true to form. Both had already had their actual scans in that same room.

Next, Erin is asking the machinists to make her a model Gantry!

Check out more tools, such as our Prezi on proton therapy, on our website under Info for Parents & Guardians.