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Gift Drawer Project in Ruth Rappaport Children’s Hospital Helps Persuade Children to Receive Treatment with a Smile

Publication Date: 10/11/2020 10:30 AM | by: Rambam

In the Meri and Sol J. Barer Pediatrics B Department in Rambam Health Care Campus’s Ruth Rappaport Children's Hospital, they’ve developed a simple therapeutic mechanism to encourage young patients, who are ill and fearful of receiving medical attention, to cooperate with a smile. The secret can be found in special drawers...

The gift drawers. Inset (top left): Maayan Lewis with toys and games for the gift drawers. Photography: RHCCThe gift drawers. Inset (top left): Maayan Lewis with toys and games for the gift drawers. Photography: RHCC

In three designated drawers under a bed in the patient reception room in the Meri and Sol J. Barer Pediatrics B Department in Ruth Rappaport Children’s Hospital, dozens of small gifts, toys, and games await the children hospitalized in the department, all as part of Rambam Health Care Campus’s sensitive approach to pediatric care. "When the children come to our care, they immediately receive a small gift to make them feel good and to help them to begin the hospital experience in a positive way," explains Maayan Lewis, the nurse who came up with the initiative. "The gifts are used in all kinds of difficult moments during hospitalization – when giving an injection or medication, the introduction of an infusion – all kinds of scary experiences for children. We try to soften and enlist the cooperation of our tiny patients and the results are amazing. The experience becomes more pleasant, the children are calmer, they smile, and even the parents become part of the game. Creating a bit of fun in a hospital setting is incredibly important."

To support the project, Lewis is engaged in fundraising to cover the cost of games and toys. A number of local businesses, including “Shikshuk”, “Yaldoota”, and “City Toys” have been great supporters. Lewis said that there has been a major mobilization during the COVID-19 pandemic, despite the difficulties many businesses face. "Everyone I turn to understands the importance of the project and joins in the joy. It's just lovely and heartwarming to see how much people want to help. It's a small toy, a simple gesture, but for the children it makes all the difference," she notes.

The Gift Drawer project functions alongside the “Gift Room” in Ruth Rappaport Children's Hospital, where a large supply of toys, games, and gifts are available for the use of the entire hospital. This project is supported by the donations of many dedicated partners and friends.