What do you get when you put Western Carolina University nursing students and communication students together with a children’s wagon equipped with an IV pole?
You get the WHEE Wagon Program, which began this spring and is dedicated to giving medically fragile children wagons with IV poles to grant them the opportunity to play and just be a kid. Picture the iconic Radio Flyer wagon with an IV pole attached.
While working as a pediatric nurse at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Susan Hester became aware of a wagon with an IV pole attached to it that was used to transport children around the hospital.
After coming to WCU, where she is an assistant professor with the School of Nursing and oversees the WHEE Wagon Program, Hester wanted to bring the cleverly designed wagons to Western North Carolina to divert young patients’ attention away from pain sensation, a strategy called nonpharmacological distraction.