Hospital Lets Kids Drive Themselves to Surgery in Toy Cars to Help Overcome Fears
The thought of surgery can be scary, not to mention all the things to worry about when undergoing a medical procedure. When you think of children and their fears about the situation, remember that adults do not always handle it well either.
For the Doctors Medical Center staff in Modesto, California, they have come up with a unique idea to ease the pre-surgery tremors before they board and give them a nice ride behind the wheel instead of a bicycle. It’s a brilliant idea, considering that they need to focus on the fun and excitement when they go into surgery, rather than being confused, scared and asking difficult questions.
Doctors at the Medical Center have two small cars at their disposal in which their little surgical patients can drive through the operating room. In a Facebook post, the hospital said young patients can choose between a small black Mercedes or a pink VW Beetle donated by one of its employees or family. The hospital also posted a video of one of their patients driving around in the car, with the caption ‘Little passenger in tow’ as they took a spin in the car.
Their goal is to reduce anxiety and stress and to make the experience less frightening for everyone involved, the hospital explains. We can see the stress and anxiety disappear as soon as they get into the cars. By adding a little play and excitement to their lives, the hospital manages to calm the nerves with a sweet smile.
The cars are designed for children between 2 and 7 years of age and can be operated by remote control. The doors can be opened and closed and the seat belts work. The cars are equipped with headlights, taillights and a radio so that the children can choose what kind of music they want to listen to during their operation. The car horn stays in the way of the children.
According to Kimberly Martinez, a pre-op nurse who came up with the idea, it can be traumatic for a young patient to have their parents removed from their heads during the operation. The short adventure lifts the children’s spirits by reminding them that their innocent world is full of playgrounds and cartoon fun. The children light up when they learn that they will be sitting in the operating theatre and driving in a cool mini-car, and their fears melt and those of their parents are calmed down.