Buzzing Bees Take the Sting Out of Shots at Emory Johns Creek Hospital’s Emergency Services Department

Less Painful Shots for KidsAs parents, we usually try to keep our kids and stinging insects more than an arm’s length apart, but the Emergency Services Department at Emory Johns Creek Hospital recently enlisted the help of a small bevy of bees to take the sting out of shots for its pediatric patients.

The “bees” are palm-sized vibrating devices, called Buzzies, designed to look like smiling bumble bees. When the Buzzy is placed against the patient’s body near the site of the nasty needle poke, the theory is it reduces the pain by confusing the nerves and distracting the patient’s focus away from the point of injection. For small children—and their parents—this can be a huge plus, especially during a visit to the local emergency room.

Natascha Barney, Directory of Emory Johns Creek’s Emergency Services Department, learned about the bee-like angels of mercy from one of the department’s staff nurses who discovered them on a visit to Children’s Hospital of Atlanta. “When she saw it, she got really excited about suggesting it for us,” Barney says. “Our staff is really thrilled to be able to offer a cute option like this to our patients.”

Using Buzzies also helps include family members in the care process, which is at the core of Emory Healthcare and Emory Johns Creek’s mission. “Parents can help us hold it in place while we give the shot,” Barney explains. “It gets them involved and helps decrease their anxiety levels.”

The device is the brain child of an Atlanta-area emergency health specialist and mom, who invented product after she sat through her own 4-year-old’s shot trauma. Several versions of product are manufactured locally in Alpharetta and Suwanee. In addition to pediatric uses, The Buzzy is marketed to diabetics and for use in a number of adult healthcare situations that involve needle sticks. Barney joked, “We’re probably going to need them for some of our big ‘kids.’”

The funds for the Buzzies were provided through donations from EJCH employees and the community through a program call MyEmory Healthcare. “We are thrilled to now have the ability to grant funds to hospital departments to help enhance the patient and family experience,” says Kathryn Albright, Emory Johns Creek’s Director of Development.” It’s heartwarming to see the wonderful things that can happen when people pull together for a great cause.”

Have you had an experience where a healthcare provider used a creative solution to make an uncomfortable situation easier? Share your story with us in the comments below.

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  • DC E.

    These Buzzy Bees are great! I purchased one directly from one of the creators a few years ago, since they are local, and have used it with both my kids for doctors visits that require shots. (They’re also good for distracting from minor bumps or bruises). Glad they are now being used in clinical settings too!