A primary goal of a S.T.E.A.M. education curriculum is to support the native creativity and innovation that all young children possess -- Children have a naturally-curious mindset.
What if this intrinsic environmental curiosity was nurtured in a responsible way? Within the setting of a health care delivery system?
Pediatricians and other pediatric caregivers have worked with this mantra since the beginnings of their medical specialty. Physician Assistants are particularly comfortable interacting with these littlest-of-patients and are often given the privilege of teaching them about health and wellness as part of a daily clinical workplace routine.
Once The Musical Adventures of Grace® children’s book series was published, I actively searched for ways to enhance that pediatric experience; albeit an infrequent and brief one.
The challenge was to change the nature of a 10-minute patient encounter, focusing more on what happened after the child and his/her adult companion(s) left the clinic or office setting… extending that experience in a more meaningful way.
This past month, I had the opportunity to present some of our qualitative research data to a group of primary care clinicians, in San Antonio (see below):
We presented data demonstrating that using a musically-themed children’s book in a smarter way, with health promotion messages, can reverse the questionable value of advertising cartoon characters (e.g., as promoters of the “goodness” of sugary cereals). And this method can serve as a tool that resonates with these young children once they leave the clinical care environment.
Maestro Vik’s Big Smiles Plan© was used as a case study to showcase how to use a poster (on the exam room wall) and a health-related storybook, to reinforce the importance of tooth brushing among children. So, when the patient went home with the storybook, (s)he was able to reconnect with the orchestra conductor who was working in front of an audience waving a tooth brush rather than a baton.
I will be presenting this, and an additional example (Melody’s Favorite Recipes©) to promote low-salt dietary substitutes, during the annual CME Conference of the Society of PAs in Pediatrics [SPAP], in 2020.
If you’re in the San Diego area, stop by. I’d love to meetup and have you attend my best practices Workshop – focusing on how to bring this resource to your patients. The title of the SPAP Sept 16th podium presentation is, “Creating Little Ambassadors of Health”.