If you’re a kid getting your blood drawn at UCHealth, there’s a wow factor to minimize the ow factor in rooms where children have their blood drawn.
It’s called the “ow to wow” room, and it’s an innovative way to change the blood draw experience for children and their families.
It looks like a normal lab room, with a counter, cupboards and a few chairs. But when the lights go off and a black light is activated, the room becomes alive with a glowing underwater scene. Fish swim alongside a large stingray; seaweed grows from the floor; and four men in a Western painting put on their snorkels, fins and swim trunks.
“We love it,” said Shelby Miller, a phlebotomist at UCHealth Medical Center of the Rockies. “It really gives our younger patients a little something fun after what can be a traumatic experience. And it’s fun for us too as we try to find things to wear that work with the black light.”
It’s no secret that children don’t like being poked by needles and can become upset by the experience, Miller said. Once the blood draw is done, the lights in the room go off, the black light goes on, and children are quickly distracted.
“It’s great to get that surprise reaction from the kiddos, and the adults like it too,” said Heather Marble, an MCR phlebotomist. “We tell them we have a surprise for them; give them little hints.”
The room came to life in November 2017 after the lab sought monetary support from the MCR Volunteer Leadership Council to contract with Ow to Wow, LLC, which designs and paints rooms.
The MCR Volunteer Leadership Council oversees the net profit from MCR’s Marketplace gift shop, and reviews and approves funding requests from various UCHealth departments that support patient and family programs in northern Colorado.
“Many times the items or programs funded enhance the patient experience, improve patient safety or improve patient lives,” said Linda Fisher, regional director of UCHealth’s volunteer program in northern Colorado.
At UCHealth Poudre Valley Hospital, the PVH Volunteer Association Board oversees the net profit from Bella Boutique gift shop at the hospital and Unique Repeats thrift shop, 1025 Pennock Place #10, in Fort Collins.
“Just within the last couple of years, both these councils have funded close to a half-million dollars back to UCHealth’s patient and family programs in northern Colorado,” Fisher said.
For kids who have to have blood drawn, the effort from volunteers raises the wow factor.