How to Make Pediatric Physical Therapy Services More Inviting for Young Patients

November 1, 2023

Health-care-induced anxiety and trauma are common among pediatric patients. When children enter your physical therapy facility, they may be in pain and experiencing various negative emotions, including anxiety or fear about their condition or treatment.

To make them comfortable and offer a better patient experience, pediatric physical therapy services can create a more welcoming and appealing clinical environment. If you want to connect with and engage today’s pediatric patients, a digital signage solution may be the answer.

The importance of creating inviting pediatric physical therapy spaces 

Visiting the doctor isn’t always a positive experience for many children, regardless of the reason for their appointment. They may associate visiting your physical therapy clinic with their last appointment at their pediatric doctor’s office, where they endured three shots and a throat culture.

Children may associate waiting rooms with unpleasant experiences, setting up parents and practitioners for treatment sessions that are filled with anxiety and resistance. Plus, depending on their age, they likely won’t understand the PT procedure or treatment they need, which may only exacerbate their apprehension and anxiety.  

Even though pediatric patients comprise 13% of the general PT clinic population, your clinic must be as inviting and kid-friendly as possible, starting with your pediatric waiting room

For kids, long wait times in a dull room can feel like a lifetime. Creating a positive experience from the get-go can put your youngest patients in the right headspace for their session. 

In fact, 73.3% of patients undergoing committed treatment plans will likely visit your PT clinic at least twice a week, which makes it especially important that your waiting room is a place they don’t mind spending time in. Add to this the reality that up to 70% of PT patients do not complete their treatment plans, and the necessity for your pediatric patients to have a positive patient experience in your clinic becomes even more critical, especially for patient outcomes.

Patient anxiety and creating a positive environment

Up to 80% of children who endure a painful injury will also, as a result, experience traumatic stress reactions. When you combine this with the anxiety they may be feeling about their PT appointment and treatments, that’s a lot for anyone to handle, especially pediatric patients.

Creating a positive environment in your pediatric physical therapy clinic may seem daunting, especially when it comes to figuring out how to create something that will please all of your patients, not just a select few.

While a “positive environment” seems highly subjective, new and innovative technology offers flexible tools that can be used to calm pediatric-patient anxiety. For instance, studies have shown that interactive technologies can improve medical outcomes in pediatric patients.

Another study even consulted pediatric patients directly about their ideal design and features in a clinical setting. The children valued “a colorful and creative physical environment”. Powering those displays with engaging content can make patient engagement and their overall experience in your clinic even better.

Engaging pediatric patients and their parents 

Pediatric patient engagement is the extent that children participate in their care, treatment and decisions governing their health. Because they are minors, the adults in their lives represent and advocate on their behalf, but that doesn’t mean pediatric patients shouldn’t be informed or engaged in their healthcare.

You’ll want to outfit your clinic with accessible and engaging educational materials and resources for children and adults. For instance, using your TVs or screens to show exercises or equipment demonstrations can ease medical anxiety in pediatric patients while educating them about their treatment journey.

Also, providing opportunities for your patients to practice active or passive distraction techniques during a painful PT procedure can engage them while also quelling patient anxiety.

These additions to your pediatric physical therapy clinic’s lobby can make all the difference

Transforming your clinic into an inviting and engaging space for kids and their parents doesn’t have to be complicated. UPshow Health is the leading digital signage software solution that can power your clinic’s digital displays with entertaining and educational resources and so much more.

Accessible material for patient education

To set up your pediatric patients for success and better health outcomes, patients and parents alike need a clear understanding of their treatment plan and how they can actively participate in their healing.

With UPshow Health, you can create and display pediatric-friendly educational materials on your screens, such as:

  • Video clips about common injuries in kids' sports
  • Display PT-themed trivia
  • Videos of simple kid-friendly exercise demonstrations
  • Video clips showing massage techniques and strategies for alleviating soreness
  • Announcements for group exercise classes or support groups 
  • Use fixed panels and multipanel displays to display announcements or need-to-know content like office closures, billing practices or additional services your clinic offers

Anxiety-reducing entertainment 

Passive distractions like quality, on-screen entertainment can reduce pediatric-patient anxiety. UPshow Health will give your patients access to more than 500 entertainment channels, and more, including:

  • A variety of kid-friendly entertainment channels
  • UPshow’s premium audio stations allow you to choose ad-free music to calm and soothe, such as nature sounds or classical music
  • Create and share mindfulness tips that kids and their guardians can practice anytime, starting in your waiting room.

Utilizing interactive materials to transform your waiting room

Engaging your pediatric patients can be entertaining and educational. With UPshow Health, you can create PT-themed trivia they can interact with in your waiting room or even back in the treatment area. 

Personalizing the patient experience will help them reach their PT goals. You can use the QR Code campaign creator to display digital QR codes that will link patients and their parents to polls, surveys and patient feedback forms that you can use to customize their experience even more, setting them up for successful outcomes at the end of their PT journey.

Make physical therapy a more exciting part of your pediatric patient’s day with UPshow

Kids don’t handle fear or anxiety in the same way adults do. A welcoming and engaging clinical environment can give pediatric patients a more positive patient experience and improve patient outcomes.

UPshow Health is the digital signage software solution your pediatric physical therapy clinic needs to support patients in their treatment journey.

Sign up for a free custom demo of UPshow Health today and discover how digital signage can make your young patients’ in-clinic experience positive.

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