Queen Elizabeth Hospital starts beads program for young patients

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Queen Elizabeth Hospital starts beads program for young patients

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Charlottetown is following other hospitals in Canada and starting a program that helps young patients track their journey with a serious medical issue with colourful, collectible beads.

The Bravery Bead program, which the QEH Auxilary is funding on a pilot basis, assigns different beads to represent specific procedures, explained chair of patient services Kathleen MacDonald. 

The beads a patient can receive include a purple butterfly representing a biopsy, a lion representing surgery and a soccer ball that represents physiotherapy. The beads are placed on a colourful string interspersed with others that spell a patient's name.

A patient's journey

The project is currently underway with young oncology patients receiving cancer treatments.

"These patients who are receiving these beads, some are just starting their journey, some of them have been on it for quite some time," said MacDonald.

The idea to have the program at the QEH came from the hospital's child life specialist Shira Zipursky, said MacDonald. Patients can add beads from other hospitals that offer the program, such as the IWK Health Centre in Halifax. 

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