Young patients who visit the Mary Bridge Child Express in Gig Harbor may feel a little more at ease in the urgent care, thanks to the fun LEGO creations of nurse Amy McGlinchy.
“I’m a kid nurse, so obviously I like to play with toys,” McGlinchy said. “I look for any way I can connect with the kids. Sometimes when they first arrive, they won’t even look at me. But if I show them my LEGOs, then, all of a sudden, we’re best friends forever.”
The collection of LEGOs displayed at the nurse’s station started out with just one model: a fireboat that drew praise from children and adults alike. Since then, McGlinchy has slowly added to the set that’s on display at the at the MultiCare Gig Harbor Medical Park, 4545 Point Fosdick Drive NW.
Recently, as McGlinchy spent hours treating one boy who had a bad laceration, they connected over their shared interests in Star Wars and LEGOs. The next day, the boy returned to thank McGlinchy by giving her a Star Wars TIE Fighter LEGO set. She put it together and added it to the display.
This year, for the Mary Bridge Festival of Trees, McGlinchy decorated a mini-tree with LEGOs, including a base that’s covered in more than 800 individual pieces. The tree was auctioned for more than $1,200, and the money went to support Mary Bridge programs.
All together, the Festival of Trees raised $1.7 million to support Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital & Health Center.
For next year’s Festival of Trees, McGlinchy is planning to design a Star Wars-themed LEGO tree.
McGlinchy has worked at Mary Bridge for nine years, including more than five years in the Mary Bridge emergency department in Tacoma before she arrived at the Child Express in Gig Harbor.
“A lot of times, we have to do blood draws or IVs, so I like taking an incident that could be totally traumatic and making it bearable,” McGlinchy said. “It’s not going to be fun, but I like explaining it to them, and building that trust in kids that will last the rest of their lives.The Mary Bridge Child Express at the MultiCare Gig Harbor Medical Park, 4545 Point Fosdick Drive NW, offers pediatric urgent care services from 2 to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. The office is closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas. For more information, call 253-530-8011.