For pediatric patients, a trip to the emergency room can be a frightening experience; not only are they dealing with illness or injury, but they may also be battling nerves and uncertainty while they wait for hospital personnel to assess their needs.
As a nurse in the emergency department at West Virginia University Medicine’s Fairmont Medical Center, Jenny Wilson, also an assistant professor in Fairmont State University’s College of Nursing, often witnesses that very scenario first-hand. However, a simple token of comfort – like a toy or stuffed animal – can help ease the anxiety the young patients may be feeling. When Fairmont Medical Center recently organized a stuffed animal drive to collect toys for pediatric patients visiting the ER, Wilson saw the opportunity to extend the initiative to Fairmont State’s campus.
Numerous College of Nursing students, faculty and staff came together to support the cause, and on Wednesday, October 20, Wilson and Fairmont State Dean of Nursing, Dr. Laura Clayton, presented several donated items to Fairmont Medical Center’s Cari Morgan, Director of Nursing, and Aaron Yanuzo, Vice President of Operations.
“When children are sick and they come to the emergency department, they are often really scared and anxious,” Clayton said. “By giving them a toy or a stuffed animal – something to provide them some comfort and help reduce their anxiety – we can make them more comfortable during that period of time.”
According to Morgan, the support from Fairmont State’s College of Nursing in this endeavor is a tangible symbol of the type of community relationships the medical center plans to forge and nurture.
“When we opened our doors on June 30, 2020, our goal was to reinstate health care for this community,” Morgan said. “With the help of multiple folks in the community and our neighbors here at Fairmont State, we were able and will continue to provide quality healthcare for Marion County.”
The stuffed animal drive will continue through Wednesday, November 10. Any stuffed animals that are donated must be in brand new condition and can be dropped off in the nursing office within Fairmont State’s Education building.
“Nurses possess a unique combination of caring and courage, of compassion and strength,” said Fairmont State University President, Mirta M. Martin. “And nobody embodies these traits more than our Falcon nursing students and the nursing and education professionals who teach them. This act of kindness demonstrates the true, huge heart of our nursing program. I’d also like to remind everyone that the stuffed animal drive continues through November 10 – please contribute a new toy or stuffed animal and help make a sick child’s day a little bit brighter.”
Questions regarding the toy drive can be directed to Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org.