Smartphones and a scared kid

24 May


Not everyone understands through words, especially frightened children who associate a visit to the doctor with pain. Imagine a tyke who stumbles through the labyrinth of looming hallways, climbs aboard elevators that whoosh, and strangers appear at every turn. All the while she looks up at the world of towering adults who attempt to comfort. Plop her down in a chair and start with the litany of questions. She wonders, “Who are these people and when will they hurt me?” No child likes needles. The medical interpreter appears to help assuage fears and facilitate communication as a member of the  healthcare team.


Back at Akron University I learned people process and absorb language through four channels: VAKT visual, audio, kinesthetic and tactile. Recently my handy-dandy iPhone 5c and Google images helped Eduardito to visualize “shake your leg like Jello” and then relax to prepare for a regular injection. He politely nodded yes when asked if he knew what Jello was but I detected otherwise and asked the nurse practitioner “May I bring up an image on my phone through Google images?” Result? A meek nod of the head once he saw the picture and the message conveyed nicely. As a practice I request permission from the practitioner before employing this intervention strategy. Have you had experiences where you used your phone to communicate beyond mere words? Let me know.

Learning Styles through VAKT


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