Monday, April 8, 2019
One way to reduce hospital anxiety: drive into the operating room
Why get wheeled into an operating room when you can drive yourself in? That's exactly what's happening at Doctors Medical Center in Modesto, CA, where patients ages 2 to 7 have their choice of a mini black Mercedes or a new pink Volkswagen Beetle.
The cars, which can be operated by remote control or by kids, have a stereo and MP3 player, working headlights, backup lights and dash lights, a horn and of course, a seat belt. There are doors, though the cars lack keyless entries, heated seats and navigation systems. But, hey.
The idea came from pre-op nurse Kimberly Martinez, RN, who did some research and found the little cars can reduce stress and make surgery less anxiety-ridden (er, so to speak) for all involved. "When the children find out they can go into the operating room in a cool little car, they light up and in most cases their fears melt away," said Martinez. "It can be traumatizing for a young patient to be peeled away from their parents as they head into surgery. This helps both the patient and their parents."
Pretty genius. Getting wheeled into an emergency room is terrifying at every age. The cars are fun and put kids in control, a feeling that is utterly lacking when you are lying on a stretcher and hopsital staffers are rolling you into the operating room. These kids are literally steering their situation.
No word yet on whether kiddie patients have started offering hospital Uber rides.
Image: Doctors Medical Center Newsroom