Planning for surgery is scary at any age, but especially when you are a child who doesn’t understand what is happening or what to expect. Fear of the unknown compounds the anxiety. But for parents of children who are planning surgery at Florida Hospital for Children, you can help ease your child’s fears with a pre-op tour of the hospital.
This post is sponsored by Florida Hospital for Children.
At Florida Hospital for Children, child life specialists Nicole Baxa and Courtney Martin seek to help relax young patients by inviting them to tour the facilities, explore through medical play and learn about what to expect on the big day.
Every Wednesday patients, parents and siblings are invited take the tour with Nicole to ask questions and explore the facilities — all in an effort to help the patients be as comfortable as possible about their upcoming surgical procedure. Tours are split into older and younger kids to give families the best experience based on age. While on the tour patients visit an in-patient room, talk about what to expect and take a look at pictures of the surgical rooms. (Younger kids also explore more in-depth with medical play.)
In addition to showing patients and parents what to expect, the child life specialists also coach parents on how best to support their kids. Providing information about how to talk to their children about the procedure and comfort items they can bring to the hospital, like their own special PJs, a beloved blanket and stuffed animal.
On the day of surgery child life specialist Courtney is on hand to help relax patients (and parents) before surgery and tend to any of their personal needs or questions.
In addition to the pre-op tours, Florida Hospital for Children also offers Picture Perfect, which is a program for children planning to have an MRI. During the program the children get a tour and a chance to see if they can hold perfectly still for the procedure on their own.
After talking to Nicole and Courtney, it is clear that the goal is of the programs designed by the child life specialists at Florida Hospital for Children are designed to help dispel any misconceptions children have about what to expect and to help alleviate fears.
If you are planning a surgical procedure or MRI for your child at Florida Hospital for Children, ask your doctor about scheduling a tour or book one on Florida Hospital for Children’s website.