Improving the journey for our littlest patients

Two women and a man wearing scrubs sit at a children's table next to a young boy wearing pyjamas. Colourful artwork by children is on the walls behind them.
Nurse Bethany Grayson and Anaesthetist Neil Hauser (centre) with 5-year-old Byron and Mum
June 20, 2019

Fiona Stanley Hospital’s Day Surgery Unit (DSU) has been busy making a series of changes to ensure the process of being admitted for surgery is as comfortable as possible for our youngest patients.

Thanks to a donation from the Harper Foundation, the walls of DSU are now festooned with colourful and fun Wendy Binks’ artwork, taking patients on a journey through the ward as they follow footprints from the preadmission area to holding bay and to theatre.

DSU Nurse Unit Manager Dawn Tanner said going into surgery can be an frightening experience for anyone, especially children.

“All the changes to the unit have helped staff to distract the children and improve their overall experience at hospital,” Dawn said.

“It’s also a lot less stressful for parents if they can see that their child is calm and happy.”

The paediatric holding bay now has a play corner where nurses and anaesthetists undertake medical history checks with the children while they do colouring-in.

Over the past few weeks Consultant Anaesthetist Neil Hauser has been caring for patients in the re-vamped holding bay and has immediately noticed a difference.

“The children are a lot calmer in this space which means we’ve been able to reduce the use of pre-medication for anaesthesia,” Neil said.

Along with the physical changes to the unit, the team is also looking to work more collaboratively with Ward 3A and reviewing pre-medication and fasting policies for paediatric patients to ensure best outcomes.

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