Using Therapeutic Toys to Facilitate Venipuncture Procedure in Preschool Children
José Ronaldo Soares da Silva, Lourdes Margareth Leite Pizzoli, Amanda Regina do Prado Amorim, Fernanda Tais Pinheiros, Giovanna Chippari Romanini, Jack Gomes da Silva, Shirley Joanete, and Silvana S.M. Alves
Intravenous access procedures in children are considered to be one of the most stressful because it is invasive, and the use of needles generates anxiety, insecurity, and fear. Playful strategies using dolls and even the materials used for venipuncture can assist children in understanding, accepting, and coping with the procedure. Field research was developed on the applicability of the therapeutic toy in the preparation of preschool children for venipuncture procedure based on the protocol developed by Martins, Ribeiro, Borba, and Silva (2001) and Kiche and Almeida (2009). The study was done in a private hospital in Greater São Paulo, Brazil, with 10 children ages 3 to 6 years. Data were gathered through ob - servation and questionnaires completed by the children’s adult guardians. Before the activity, the children showed fearful facial expressions, used monosyllabic responses, and avoided looking at the health care professional. After the strategy of using therapeutic toy dolls and puppets, 40% of the children calmly accepted the venipuncture procedure, and 100% showed a change to their initial negative reaction, became more communicative and cooperative, and participated and interacted with researchers, even after the end of the activity and procedure. The strategy of therapeutic toys helps make an unfamiliar environment, strangers, and a procedure characterized as painful and difficult less stressful. Pediatric nurses are in a good position to use this resource to offer more humanized care to children.