How to Help Kids Prepare for Orthopedic Surgery
Surgery — even minor procedures — can be traumatic for children. Children can easily become frightened and overwhelmed when they need the services of an orthopedic specialist. As a parent, you can take steps to lessen your child’s anxiety before surgery. Here are some things that can help.
Many facilities offer preoperative visits so children can tour the building and meet the staff. Contact the hospital or surgery center where the procedure will be performed to see if you can take your child for a tour.
Speak openly and honestly about what your child should expect on the day of surgery. Letting him or her know what will happen is good preparation for what can be a scary experience. Here are some specific questions to cover:
What is the operating room?
The operating room, sometimes called the OR, is the room where you will have surgery.
What is an operation?
Orthopedic surgeons sometimes must work on the inside of your body to fix something.
Who will I meet on the day of surgery?
Someone at the reception desk will greet you first. You’ll meet a nurse who will ask a lot of questions about your health and allergies. The nurse will also take your vital signs like blood pressure, temperature and pulse. Before surgery, you’ll meet an anesthesiologist who will help you fall asleep. Finally, you’ll see your surgeon before you fall asleep.
Why does everyone wear masks?
Medical staff wear caps over their hair and masks over their mouths and noses to keep the operating room free of germs.
What happens the day of surgery?
First, you won’t be able to eat on the day of surgery. Food can make you sick during the procedure. When you get to the surgery center, you’ll be taken to the OR and given anesthesia so you go to sleep. You won’t feel anything or remember the surgery at all.
When the surgeon is done, you’ll be taken to the recovery room. where you’ll wake up. Your parents will join you when you’re awake. A nurse will monitor you as you wake up. When you’re fully awake, you’ll be moved to a hospital room or be allowed to go home.
Many hospitals and surgery centers have child life specialists who can provide more advice on preparing your child for surgery. Additionally, feel free to contact our Jacksonville orthopedic practice for tips on how to make your child’s surgical experience as anxiety-free as possible.