One component of the mission of Shriners Hospitals for Children is conducting research that improves both the quality of patient care and the quality of life of children and families. Our efforts in research have not gone unnoticed. While presenting at the American Burn Association's 48th Annual International Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, a team of researchers and clinicians from Shriners Hospitals for Children — Galveston were recognized as leaders in pediatric burn care. Emily Begnaud, OTR, was awarded with “Best in Category for Performance Improvement Projects” for her research project “Burn Rehabilitation Boot Camp for Caregivers – A Pilot Program.” Begnaud’s “boot camp” is a program for patients’ families that promotes caregiver participation in the rehabilitation plan.
“Parents and caregivers can have a lot of fear and anxiety regarding their children’s rehabilitation and are frightened that they may mess something up,” Begnaud said. “I wanted to give caregivers more information so they could be more confident about being involved in the rehabilitation process. I ultimately wanted to alleviate anxiety.” The primary focus of Begnaud’s program was to provide a comprehensive, hands-on educational workshop designed to help caregivers understand the rehabilitation process, and was conducted by an occupational or physical therapist specializing in burn rehabilitation.
During the course, therapists focused on teaching caregivers how to facilitate exercises, how to correctly apply splints and how to approach many other skills that are vital to our patients’ rehabilitation and recovery. Parents and caregivers were grateful for the opportunity to participate in these classes. Afterwards, participants even said they felt more confident in their role as caregivers. Begnaud hopes to continue classes and turn this research into a set practice at the Galveston Shriners Hospital. “Caregivers are very important in the rehabilitation process for pediatric burn patients,” said Begnaud. ”Continuing research would not only empower caregivers to be a part of their child’s recovery, but would also allow Shriners Hospitals for Children — Galveston to set a standard for providing family-centered care in the burn rehabilitation setting.”