Grant provides happy upgrades to Pediatric Sleep Lab

A Promise Grant provides needed improvements to the Sleep Lab, making children more comfortable which helps promote good results.

Grant provides happy upgrades to Pediatric Sleep Lab click to enlarge Amanda Ross, AAS, RPSGT, of the sleep lab prepares a young patient for her study.

If your child’s physician has recommended a sleep study, you may be curious as to how your child will respond to the environment and the procedure during their overnight stay. With UNC’s Sleep Disorders Center being one of the few sleep centers in North Carolina to offer sleep services for all ages, its pediatric population continues to grow. That is why the sleep center has collaborated with UNC’s Pediatric Airway Center to add additional accommodations for pediatric patients and their families.

“Our goal is to provide a comforting environment for our patients and families while ensuring the best quality of care,” said Amanda Ross, Neurodiagnostic Technologist with the Sleep Disorders Center.

Using funds provided by a Promise Grant, the sleep center was able to upgrade two of the rooms used to perform pediatric sleep studies. The updates include two flat screen TV’s with DVD players, DVDs, soothing sound machines (with projector), and scenic wall decor. These updates have added a more welcoming environment to the sleep rooms which helps reduce the anxiety of being in the hospital.

"We try to make the circumstances of the lab as close to their home experience as possible," Ross said.

But not all the improvements are related to comfort - many also add to the overall functionality and safety of the sleep rooms. Bed rails were provided as well as rolling carts for additional medical equipment. New dry erase boards containing information such as the technologist providing care, room number, and any additional information needed during the overnight procedure.

“With the Airway Center being one of the few pediatric airway centers nationwide, we often care for and treat patients with complex medical needs. We want to offer the highest quality of care and treatment, while meeting the needs of our families each step of the way,” said Mandy Gee, Administrative Coordinator of the airway center.

Both pediatric sleep rooms have been outfitted and improved as a team effort. Will Underwood, Supervisor in the Sleep Disorders Center, reached out to the carpentry department to have additional shelving installed which created more storage for patients requiring care items and medical equipment brought from home. Our design team met with Mandy and Amanda to discuss and select soothing colors to coordinate with existing decor and chose artwork to go along with those colors, while honoring fire codes and sanitary requirements as well.

Books are also an important part of the family-oriented care, and emphasis is made on making bedtime reading a part of the child's life if it isn't already. A special program provides age-appropriate books as part of the entertainment options. These books are provided by donors and Promise Grant funds.

By reaching out to the UNC Children’s Office of External Affairs (previously known as the Children’s Promise) and expressing the importance of pediatric sleep health, the sleep center continues to receive generous donations which create a lasting impression on children and their families. These donations include pillowcases and blankets with various themes and designs, puzzles, and stuffed animals. These gifts are given to children to use during their overnight stay in the sleep center and taken home in the morning.

These improvements, combined with continuous support from the Office of External Affairs, will continue to have a positive impact on the growing pediatric population as well as the professionals involved in their care.

“When patients feel relaxed and comfortable, our team of sleep professionals can obtain more accurate data, which has proven to be an important resource for our pediatric airway team as they provide care and treatment for children and families,” said Ross. 

For more information about pediatric sleep services please visit UNC Children's Hospital.