Thursday, June 7, 2012

Improved Website Helps Kids and Parents Prepare for Surgery

As many parents will confirm, having a sick child is no picnic. Along with the physical symptoms, there are often emotional ones for both child and parent – concern over missed school and social activities, along with fear of long-term health problems. Add the possibility of surgery to a child’s illness and the stress mounts even more.

Recently, the Virginia Sherwood Surgical Center at GBMC added some features to its page on to help ease the anxiety of parents and children alike.

“We wanted parents to be able to show their kids what it would be like for them to go through the typical surgical process,” says Kate Devan, RN, BSN, at Virginia Sherwood Surgical Center. “Providing visual scenarios of what to expect is helpful to decrease fears and reassure parents.”

On the website, parents will find a photo slideshow of the surgical experience as seen through the eyes of a child, outlining and explaining each step of the process from registration to waking up in the recovery room. Additionally, parents will find a helpful Frequently Asked Questions page that answers common questions from “Can my child bring her favorite teddy bear?” to “What do I do if my child has a fever post-surgery?”

Sherwood Surgical Center has always strived to be as kid-friendly as possible, because of the large number of pediatric cases they see. “We treat children with procedures such as tonsillectomies, adenoidectomies, hernia repairs, cleft palate repairs, gallbladder removal and PE tube insertion into the ears,” says Ms. Devan. There’s a special area of the waiting room designated for children with books, games and toys. The doors to the surgical suite are painted with fun rainbow colors, a welcome distraction for a child about to have surgery. Employees are all friendly and attentive to children, especially during the moments before they undergo anesthesia and when they wake up in the recovery room.

“We think it’s important to pay particular attention to the needs of a child, especially before their parents make their way back to the recovery room,” says Ms. Devan. “That can be a stressful time and having a friendly face makes it a little easier.”

For more information about the Virginia Sherwood Surgical Center, visit

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