Anna K. Young
CEO, Co-Founder

Medical Device Archeologist, TEDMED Speaker, Fast Company Most Creative Business People, MIT Lecturer.

 

Clinician Spotlight: Using LEGO to Help Pediatric Oncology Patients

Victor Ty, RN, BSN, left a two-decade career in fashion design to pursue a nursing career in New York. Since, he has combined his love of textiles, design, and nursing to create life-changing solutions for the patients he works with every day. Victor is a designer, a master LEGO builder, and a MakerNurse.
 
During his first year as a pediatric oncology nurse, he cared for a young patient with autism & developmental disabilities. They quickly bonded over their love of Legos.
 
“I immediately thought of building a Lego model of the radiation machine, also known as the Lego Linear Accelerator or linac, to help him understand the mechanics of his treatment. I was able to effectively communicate with my patient, and I am proud to say he completed his radiation therapy regimen without any interruptions.”
 
Victor builds these Lego models of radiation therapy and imaging machines to help pediatric and adult patients’ anticipatory coping before clinical procedures.
 
Victor made his MRI model in collaboration with Jon Luongo, Child Life Specialist, to communicate the MRI procedure to pediatric patients.
 
In a study using this model-based communication paired with Child Life knowhow 113 out of 122 pediatric patients (93%) were able to hold still enough to produce diagnostic images without anesthesia.
 
His experience in textile and fashion design taught him the value of a portfolio of projects, looking beyond personal ownership, and instead finding true impact and value in sharing them widely through his networks, for those who needed them the most.
 
During the pandemic, Victor, his wife Amie (also an RN!), and two of his children worked together to design and print face shields using parts 3D printed by Matt Griffin and the Ultimaker team in New York.
 
The face shields were widely successful, with Victor distributing them to his colleagues at NYU Langone Health, community college nursing students, and other clinicians in need of protection.
 
Victor is a MakerNurse. Victor works with MakerHealth to bring his much-needed designs to hospitals in the MakerHealth network.
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