“Happy #InternationalNursesDay to our nursing community! May this day be cherished as a reminder of the strength, support and resilience that you continue to provide.”
Drawing inspiration from personal experience, Charles Sturt University Alumni Lauren Barber pivoted her nursing career to develop an innovative medical device to address a key obstacle in Australian healthcare – needle phobia.
“It’s easy to dismiss needle phobias, but they affect approximately 25% of Australians, while a local study found one in five patients with a fear of needles reported avoiding healthcare,” Lauren explains.
“Needle procedures haven’t changed much since the 1800’s and needle-phobia is a surprisingly under-researched area, particularly when it comes to the consequences of healthcare avoidance.”
Lauren’s award winning company NeedleCalm Pty Ltd has launched a world-leading medical device designed to improve vaccination rates and calm the nerves of the approximately six million Australians who fear injections.
“They say only crisis brings change. I sustained an awful needle stick injury at work which then led me to investigate the relationship between needle-phobia and a person’s health and it’s now become my purpose in life.”
The Class 1 medical device, which recently received approval from the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration, works by using a technique referred to as “closing the gate” between the needle injection site and pain receptors in the brain.
Facilitating a solution to immunisation and critical healthcare compliance is central to Lauren’s mission with a lot of her time focused on advocacy, education and re-working the narrative that people should just ‘tough it up’ and ‘it’s only a needle’.
While she never could have anticipated this career trajectory, Lauren explains that nursing is such an exciting field to enter into “The great thing about nursing is the array of avenues you can pursue with different career pathways.”
To learn more about how NeedleCalm is making waves in the healthcare industry and improving the experiences of patients and clinicians alike, check out our full story on page 29 of the latest issue of Thrive Alumni Magazine 👉 https://bit.ly/3ZGxo0G