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

The Covenant Children's rig is designed to comfort small children while providing specialized care for the population


Shambhavi Rimal
Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, Texas

LUBBOCK, Texas — Covenant Children’s this week showcased its recently added state-of-the-art ambulance catered to the needs of young children.

The ambulance is made to travel short or long-distances to retrieve patients in need, Covenant officials said Wednesday, and it has capabilities for patients as small as babies in need of Neonatal Intensive Care Unit services to toddlers and teens.

Covenant Children's unveiled its new children's ambulance Wednesday.
Covenant Children's unveiled its new children's ambulance Wednesday. (Shambhavi Rimal/A-J Media)

Cherish Brodbeck, coordinator of specialty transport services at Covenant, said the ambulance looks kid friendly, it is equipped with a DVD player and screen where children can watch videos while they're being transported, a radio for a little bit older kids to listen to music. All these features are added to try to calm the children in the ambulance environment.

“The care providers that are with them are all pediatric trained, so they are able to really focus on those kids," Brodbeck said. "So it's a much healthier, friendlier environment for children.”

Blake Crawford, 11, was one of the first patients transported in the new vehicle at Covenant Children's Hospital.

He said that, after getting injured at the cafeteria, he was a little scared when the ambulance arrived. However, the care providers inside the ambulance were very nice and calmed him down.

Blake's mom Kim Crawford added that the people out of the ambulance made such a difference to them, also describing them as calming, kind and knowledgeable about what they were doing. They had the great ambulance with all the fun lights and the screens which put all of them at ease.

“They were very quick to reassure us of, they're going to take good care of him,” she said.

Brooke Falkenberg, specialty transport nurse, said nurses trained in pediatrics or for the NICU learn some different skills and techniques than those who take care of adult patients.

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

The children are comforted through the process of being loaded into the ambulance. And in almost all cases they allow a parent to ride in the ambulance so the children have someone that they're familiar and comfortable with, Falkenberg said.

Traditional EMS providers are trained to do all the things, but they're not necessarily specifically trained in pediatrics or for NICU patients, by adding that, they can increase the level of care served in the ambulance, Brodbeck said.

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

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

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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