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New: Qwiek.up transforms treatment room into tropical sea or race track

In line with the policy of reducing stress, pain and anxiety, there are now nine Qwiek.ups in the Máxima. A life-size projection that transforms a treatment room into an underwater world or a race track. Maaike Elders talks about the device and enthusiastic children. 

Mace (4) has just had his VIT connected. His mother is in the treatment chair and he lies quietly on her lap. Child life specialist Maaike Elders has promised Mace a Qwiek.up and conjures up a box of colorful USB sticks. The memory sticks contain programs for the Qwiek.up, a kind of beamer on wheels. ‘Do you like the Efteling, the Red Bull race, nature or ....?’ asks Maaike, but Mace interrupts her and says: ‘I want fishes!’ So Maaike chooses the ‘Underwater World’ USB flash drive and inserts it into the Qwiek.up. Immediately, soft, soothing music begins to play. Above his head, images of a tropical sea with colorful fish appear and Mace follows them with great interest. Then a diver appears and a life-size turtle swims across the ceiling. Mace: ‘I see it, look!’ and from a quiet toddler he becomes an alert observer. 

Program of choice 
‘We now have nine Qwiek.ups at the Máxima Center and are very happy with them,' says Maaike. ‘They are located on all clinical wards (two per floor), on day care 2 and 3, in the sedation rooms and in the ultrasound room in radiology. The images can be displayed on the ceiling as well as on the wall. Each Qwiek.up has 16 programs to choose from, ranging from snooze movies with soft music to entertainment from the ‘Fun’ category with songs and happy effects. There is a program for every child and every situation. Many kids know exactly what they like, like Mace, who loves water and fishes. Other kids like more action and music. Personally, I like a program with quiet music and lots of pictures. You can distract a child during a medical procedure by asking questions: ‘What do you see? Can you count them? The special beamers have quickly become a familiar and popular tool.’ 

Distraction & Relaxation 
Maaike: ‘As child life specialists, we use the Qwiek.up for distraction and relaxation. The Qwiek.up regulates stimuli and reduces stress, pain and anxiety. The child is immersed in an audiovisual experience and can relax better. Some children have already incorporated the device into their ritual: when they have to undergo surgery, they choose their own program for distraction. Sometimes I set up the Qwiek.up in the treatment room, and the atmosphere is immediately more relaxed when the child enters. In consultation with the nurses, we dim the lights as much as possible so that the procedure can be performed properly and the image on the ceiling can be seen even better.’ Because the beamer has become so popular in such a short time, and because nine is not always enough, the team has already made working arrangements, says Maaike. ‘For example, a child who needs the Qwiek.up for distraction to reduce anxiety during a medical procedure has priority over a child in the clinic who needs it for several hours for relaxation. Parents understand this. And we get along, the device is versatile.’

The Qwiek-ups were funded by donors to the Princess Maxima Center Foundation. Want to know more or support the foundation? Look here.