At Shriners Hospitals for Children — Galveston, our care extends far beyond the hospital walls. Our staff members organize events and partner with a number of community organizations to provide opportunities for children to explore and grow their potential inside and outside of the hospital.
The Wellness and Exercise Program consists of 6–12 weeks of exercise that includes cardiovascular, strengthening, core and balance training, five days a week/one hour a day. We offer our exercise program to all patients 7 and older with 30 percent or greater TBSA (total body surface area) burns; and to patients with less than 30 percent TBSA whose physician ordered the program. The staff of the Wellness Center is responsible for the implementation of the individualized exercise training program and exercise testing of all patients involved in these studies. This exercise program is designed to improve muscle mass and function, as well as aerobic fitness. However, there are other benefits, such as a decrease in the number of operative procedures to release major joint contractures and improvements in quality of life.
Benefits of exercise in burned children:
Major reasons for delay to the return normal daily living activities following burn injury are the loss of functional physical capacity and muscle strength, where the patient has intolerance to standing or walking. Activities of daily living are integrated functions requiring cardiovascular and muscle endurance and muscle strength; therefore, successful rehabilitation programs need to optimize cardiovascular, pulmonary and muscle endurance, strength and function; a need that the Children’s Wellness Center fulfills.
The music and movement groups are for physician-referred, recurring patients ages 2–6, and are facilitated by a music therapist. Patients are divided into groups based on age for regularly scheduled sessions, ranging from 30–60 minutes, with focus on active and functional movement, socialization and caregiver involvement.
Patient ambassadors are current or former patients of the hospital who have been selected and volunteer as champions for Shriners Hospitals for Children by participating in special activities, events and other opportunities on behalf of the hospital.
Organized through the public relations department, the patient ambassador program is a great way for patients and families to give the gift of their time and talent to the hospital. Patient ambassadors represent the hospital in their local communities and at the hospital in many different ways, including photo shoots, video productions and speaking to Shrine temples (chapters). The patient ambassadors attend local Shriners International temple events and local Shriners Hospitals for Children events and fundraisers, and also participate in news stories on television, radio and newspapers.
In addition to being invited to select events, patient ambassadors reap the benefits of building confidence and character through their participation. Patients and families both have formed lifelong friendships in the program and our younger patients flourish by having the opportunity to meet older patients who have “been through it before.”
For more information on how to become a patient ambassador for the Galveston Shriners Hospital, please contact Emily Dressel at 409-770-6535.
Staff at the Galveston Shriners Hospital can assist in connecting patients and families to burn camps.