Calming Young Patients' Nerves


Surgery can be daunting for anyone, especially for children. The NARMC Surgery team is using innovative and creative ways to keep their youngest patients comfortable and calm.

The team decided they wanted to do something to help calm young patients’ nerves before entering the operating room and in the recovery room after their surgeries. Recent research shows that children can benefit from fun distractions before and after their surgeries. Dr. Anu Patel, an anesthesiologist at University Hospital in Newark, studied the affects of video games and distractions on children prior to surgery. Patel found that patients who played with Game Boys prior to surgery were calmer and relaxed compared to children that did not have a distraction.

“We know how scary surgery can be for some patients,” Lacy Huff, Director of Surgery, said. “Our goal is to give young patients something else to focus on.”

At NARMC, children ride to surgery in style in modified toy Jeeps and cars. Donated by Walmart and revamped by NARMC Engineering, the vehicles are a safe and fun way for children to enter the operating room rather than the usual hospital beds. The hope is that such a fun entrance will take their mind off their impending surgery and keep children from panicking. Anxiety and fear before surgery can lead to physical and emotional problems.

After surgery, children now wake up in a newly decorated recovery room. Studies have shown that bright colors and stimulation help children wake up from anesthesia more smoothly. NARMC team members have decked out the children’s recovery room with cartoon characters, streamers and more. The children’s recovery room also includes a television so that patients can watch cartoons as they wake up from anesthesia.

Innovative and creative ideas like these can make all the difference in making surgery go smoothly for young patients and their parents. The NARMC team is always looking for new ways to provide you with the best in care, close to home.

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No information or content on this website is to be taken as implicit or explicit advice. Please contact a medical professional for guidance.

Photos on this website are provided by Vowell Publishing, Inc. and NARMC.