Kids "driven" into surgery to ease fear and anxiety
A hospital in California has mini cars to let their youngest patients "ride" to surgery to help ease their tension and anxiety.
Children can be overwhelmed by stress and anxiety when going into surgery. It can be a terrifying experience for a child at any age.
Kudos to Doctors Medical Center in Modesto, California, that is helping children to reduce their fears prior to surgery by letting them “drive” to the operating room.
Mini cars introduced
The hospital has introduced two mini cars for their smallest surgical patients – a black Mercedes and a pink Volkswagen Beetle.
The center purchased the Mercedes, but the Volkswagen Beetle was generously donated by one of their employees and her family.
A video of a child named Caroline driving a car around the hospital quickly went viral. People commended the medical center for its innovative thinking on making the children more comfortable.
The children appear to be all smiles as they are able to take a fun drive before heading into surgery.
“We can see the stress and anxiety melt away when they hop in the car,” the medical center wrote on Facebook.
Beep beep your way into surgery
Employees of the center hope the cars reduce the kids’ stress, anxiety and fear before they go into the operating room.
“When the children find out they can go into the operating room riding in a cool little car, they light up and in most cases, their fears melt away,” nurse Kimberly Martinez, who came up with the idea, told CBS News.
“In addition, when parents see their children put at ease, it puts them at ease as well,” she said.
She noticed the immediate difference since they’ve introduced the cars, and hopes the benefits have a lasting impact.
“It can be traumatizing for a young patient to be peeled away from their parents as they head into surgery,” she said. “This truly helps everyone involved.”
These cars can be operated by the kids themselves, or by remote control. They are very safe as they have working doors, a seat belt and a horn.
It is so wonderful to hear hospitals taking their patient’s interest at heart. I’m sure this initiative will help many children and parents to feel at ease seeing their little ones smiling before surgery.
Here’s some ways you can ease your child’s fears about surgery
- Be honest on what will happen and what to expect.
- Listen to your child and let him express his feelings openly.
- Encourage them to ask questions and express any fears.
- Use short and simple terms to explain things.
- Reassure him or her that if something hurts, there are ways to help the pain, including medicine, relaxation and distraction.
- Emphasize that the hospital stay is temporary and focus on what your child will be able to do when he or she goes home.
- Pack some special items from home to help your child feel more comfortable during his or her hospital stay.
SOURCE: CBS News