My Allied Health Professional (AHP) career fellowship through NHS Education Scotland (NES) has allowed me to have the time to develop my project of early mobilisation in Paediatric critical care. This is a hot topic in the critical care world, with paediatrics lagging behind our adult centres. This is partly due to the complexity of the children under our care, with wide physiological age and developmental age range.
When I started looking into the topic, developing an evidence base, trying to audit our practice and survey the staff’s knowledge and concerns regarding the topic, it was like opening Pandora’s Box. There was no definitive conclusion in the literature on what early mobilisation was or what it should include. Everyone I spoke to had an opinion on what or how I should go about the project and with so many resources to help guide, it was more a question of where to start. What was clear was that whatever I did needed to be multi-professional and staff engagement was essential. I may be leading on this specific project but to pull it off and have workable protocols, ensuring the safe early mobilisation and rehabilitation of critically ill children, all professions and family input would be essential.
One thing that was becoming clear from the literature was that all the adult and paediatric literature had a catchy acronym or title for their project conveying what the project was or the aim of the project. The name is the projects identity. It’s what staff, family and children will relate too. It’s also the first thing people see on the art work and information sheets about the project. I was constantly being asked what the title of my project is. In fact it was often the second question after I had been asked why I was not clinical and what I was doing. Did I have any ideas? I was blank, all the good ones were gone and I had no clue where to start. All I could think about was the ones I had seen in the literature and how good they were.
I felt under pressure to come up with something equally as innovative and interesting, but which stated who we are and what we were trying to do. So, using mind mapping, I started to try and get out all the connotations and ideas on a page. A thesaurus was accessed to find all the terms relating to mobilisation, rehabilitation and activity. I kept coming back to EPIC (Edinburgh Paediatric Intensive Care) Activity. I wanted activity to be obvious in the title as this can encompass playing and other developmentally appropriate interactions and not just mobility, which gives the impression of walking but that is not always appropriate for some of the children. However, there was a ‘but’; our hospital is about to have a historic move to a new purpose-built hospital and as a result of that change, the Paediatric Intensive Care will be rebranded/renamed Paediatric Critical Care. EPPC Activity didn’t quite have the same ring to it.
So it was back to the drawing board. Was I putting too much pressure on myself or was I just trying to meet others’ expectations? I think it was a combination of both; I wanted to have a cool/catchy name that I could use to identify the project and if decided to publish findings it would have to have a catchy title like the ones written by a number of esteemed professionals in this area. I revisited my mind maps, and I spoke to colleagues trying to get inspiration or possibly hoping they might even come up with something brilliant.
The inspiration came from my collaboration with Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity and a development they are working on that my project could potentially link with. This would ensure a degree of continuity throughout the new hospital. Thus SPACE – Sparking Paediatric Activity in Critical care Edinburgh was born. I finally found a title for my project that I was happy with and more importantly my colleagues in PCCU were also happy with.
Who would have known that a title could be so challenging and result in so much stress, but once found could bring excitement and opportunity. Now my challenge is to continue to develop my learning and ensure that all the children within Edinburgh PCCU can participate safely in activities appropriate for age and development.
For More Information Contact:
Andrea Wood, Clinical Specialist Physiotherapist, RHSC/RHCYP, NHS Lothian