Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Committee Chair

Gayle Casterline


Problem: Children have reported that pain and anxiety were the most difficult part of hospitalization, and under treatment of pain and anxiety can have short and long term effects on health outcomes. Most healthcare professionals recognize a link between emotional health and physical health, but this may be especially true for pediatric patients who may not be able to marshal adequate coping skills due to their developmental age. Providing age appropriate alternatives, such as distraction therapy, may result in less invasive treatments for pediatric patients. Distraction therapy is an effective nonpharmacological intervention that is often under-utilized in the acute care setting. Providing an additional distraction intervention could help ameliorate the negative effects of hospitalization, enabling pediatric patients to decrease pain and anxiety while increasing coping and joy. Purpose: The purpose of the project was to spread awareness and to increase the use of a new, innovative distraction intervention in the form of an IV pole wagon. The wagons were developed in 2015 and were being used in a small, but rapidly increasing, group of pediatric hospitals. Background: Unfortunately, drug therapy, which should be second line treatment, is often the first line treatment despite evidence that non-pharmacological therapeutic interventions are similarly effective for the management of mild to moderate pain and anxiety. Distraction interventions, such as music therapy, pet interactions, video games, etc., have been shown to be successful therapies for mild to moderate pain and anxiety in children, but are under-utilized, resulting in unnecessary invasive amelioration therapies. v Project Implementation: The cardinal goal for this DNP project was writing a business plan to provide a model for other pediatric organizations to start and maintain a nonprofit program to supply IV pole wagons to children in medical need. Secondary objectives included supportive measures to augment the business plan including marketing initiatives to inform the public/healthcare workers of the project, grant writing for funding, information dissemination by presenting at a nursing conference, and providing the IV pole wagons to facilities and individual families. The purpose of these interventions were to provide a developmentally appropriate distraction to lessen the pain and distress that can be associated with hospitalization while increasing pediatric coping and joy. The pilot program, called the Whee Wagon Program, was developed through Western Carolina University's (WCU) School of Nursing, in Cullowhee, NC, in August 2015. The project goal was to influence other pediatric organizations and/or advocacy groups to develop similar, but unique, programs to distribute these wagons to as many pediatric facilities as possible. Outcome: This project resulted in a comprehensive business plan to provide pediatric organizations with a blueprint for the development of their own program to provide IV pole wagons to children in medical need. The business plan, written in standard business plan format, was distributed to 14 pediatric organizations for their use. It was also published on the Western Carolina University Whee Wagon website and a proprietary Whee Wagon website for public use. This author presented the Whee Wagon concept at a pediatric nursing conference, and applied for, and was awarded, a $1,000 grant to disseminate the Whee Wagons to children in medical need. Finally, since the beginning of this project in January 2016, 22 wagons have been distributed to facilities or families.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.