WASHINGTON, D.C. – Driscoll Children’s Hospital nurse Roxana Reyna is at the White House today for the White House Maker Faire. President Barack Obama and his staff invited innovators – what the White House calls “Makers” – from across the country for a visit to show off their creations.
Reyna, who is a skin and wound care specialist, is part of the MakerNurse program at Driscoll Children’s Hospital, which is just one of five hospitals and the only children’s hospital to be chosen as a MakerNurse Expedition site. The MakerNurse Initiative is an effort led by the Little Devices Lab at Massachusetts Institute of Technology with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to honor the inventive spirit of nurses across America.
When leaders from the Little Devices Lab visited Driscoll Children’s Hospital, they saw Reyna’s creativity when she rolled up a blanket and held it together with tape to create positioning devices to better serve her patients in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. She also found different ways to use wound dressings – usually made for adults – on pediatric patients.
“The inventions start at the bedside, because the need is always at the bedside first,” Reyna said. “If you took a person that sits behind a desk and doesn’t have that clinical experience of the bedside, then they may not be able to find the right way to apply their product. As nurses, we have that bedside experience, and we know exactly what we need, and we’re able to create our own products that can have an impact on these kids’ lives and the lives of their parents.”
Reyna was chosen after the MakerNurse program submitted her name to the White House. She will show off some of her bedside creations along with Kelly Reilly, a nurse from Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.
“We can find Makers everywhere in our community, and these are just some examples of that,” said Dale Dougherty, CEO of Maker Media. “Makers themselves can be as varied as their interests. They may be found in a number of different occupations from artists and designers, to engineers and computer scientists, educators, crafters and mechanics. What’s true of all Makers is that what they do opens new doors and often leads to new relationships and unexpected opportunities.”