Pediatric Pre-operative Nurse Wish List: 6 things EVERY parent should know before their child’s surgery day

Two stuffed animals getting ready for a medical procedure. Pediatric pre-operative nurses wish list.Most parents never have to meet a pediatric pre-operative nurse. If you do, we’re sure you’d like to know what’s on our pediatric pre-operative nurse wish list for parents. This list will help you will be better prepared to help us do our job of taking care of your child on their surgery day.

First Category – Parent to Child Communication

1) Please talk to your child about their surgery ahead of time before you get to the hospital.  If you are unsure what you should tell them, please ask us during your pre-op call or call your surgeon’s office.  The morning of the surgery, with all that is going on, is not the time for your child to find out why they are really at the hospital.

2) Please don’t lie to your child-

Don’t tell them they are at the hospital for a checkup before you are going to take them out to a really good lunch.

Don’t tell them that their surgery isn’t going to hurt.

Don’t tell them you will be with them the whole time because you won’t be with them in the operating room.

Second Category – Parent to Pre-op Nurse Communication

3) If we ask that your child not eat or drink past a certain time, we really mean it.  It is to keep them safe when they go off to sleep with anesthesia.  And no, orange juice and chicken broth are not considered clear liquids for surgery.

4) When we ask if your child has had a recent cold, cough, or other illness tell the truth.  We know sometimes you have waited a long time to have the surgery and you don’t want to reschedule it, but it is extremely important for us to know if your child has been sick.

5) If we ask you not to bring other children with you, please try not to.  It isn’t because we don’t like kids, we really love kids.  It’s because your child that is having surgery is going to need all of your attention and other children are a distraction and often aren’t allowed in certain areas of the hospital.

Third Category – Parent Advice

6) Advocate for your child and ask questions.  If you are unsure of something including what procedure or surgery is being performed, please call your surgeon’s office ahead of time or ask at the hospital. Doctors can be intimidating but before the surgery is the time to get answers to all your questions.

As we often say to parents, we would rather meet you in the grocery store or at the park, but if we do meet each other at the hospital – we want you to know – when our wishes come true, we all have a better “Surgery Day”.

Please use the comment field below to share your  Wish List for your child’s surgery day. We would love to know some of the things you are wondering about ahead of time.

Julie Kaderabek RN and Laura Wolfe RN

Julie Kaderabek and Laura Wolfe are pediatric surgical nurses. They are the Co-Authors of Surgery Day and the founders of 2RNs. Julie and Laura launched 2RNs in 2017 to help provide health related resources to families and physicians.

Note: This Perspectives Blog post is written by a guest blogger of DrGreene.com. The opinions expressed on this post do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Dr. Greene or DrGreene.com, and as such we are not responsible for the accuracy of the information supplied. View the license for this post.

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