Renovations Comfort Children Facing Surgery

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Scared and sad are emotions that come to mind when imagining how a child might feel when they have to be admitted to the hospital. If surgery is involved, the experience can be even more frightening. To ease the anxiety of childhood hospitalization, experts at the University of Virginia Children's Hospital are changing the way children see their hospital environment. Brighter colors, pictures and stories on the preoperative/post anesthesia care unit (PACU) walls and the availability of video games and toys are changing the way children here experience hospital care.

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"These things are a nice calming distraction for children waiting to go into surgsignery and for children in stage one recovery," said Sandra Altice, pediatric nurse and renovations coordinator for the unit. "Parents are pleased with the new environment as well."

Offering family-centered care is of the utmost priority for UVa Children's Hospital and this renovation project will include changes to benefit families and loved ones of a child in surgery. In the near future, a new waiting room will have the same colorful walls and animal pictorials seen in the PACU and will be closer to the main operating area. Currently, rocking chairs added to patient rooms provide comfort for parents and children alike.

Staff members working in the area enjoy it because it is nice and calming and seems more like home. Altice believes that the new look will also be attractive to new medical staff.

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