Wagons make the surgery run a bit more fun

A young female nurse sits next to a young female hospital patient who is seated in a colourful toy cart.
Saege Pajic, aged 6, rides to surgery with nurse Claire van der Merwe.
January 23, 2020

Being moved around the hospital on a trolley can make patients anxious – particularly children, but an alternative form of transportation is proving a hit with the kids.

Fiona Stanley Hospital’s Paediatric Ward and the theatre holding bay now have the option of using colourful carts to move young patients.

Thanks to the work of holding bay Nurse Lead Reinette Rheeders, Clinical Nurse Dianne Norris and Nurse Unit Managers Matt Szabo and Dawn Tanner, four paediatric wagons are rolling between the Day Surgery Unit, the Paediatric Ward, holding bay and theatres.

An injection of funds from a local private donor Mrs Harper also helped.

Ms Rheeders said this fun and non-intimidating means of transport could reduce pre-operative anxiety and had the potential to reduce the need for pre-medication.

“We researched ways to reduce this anxiety and found examples of other hospitals using wagons for transport, and they reported that the children love them,” she said.

“Holding bay also has a child-friendly corner where patients and their carers can complete consents and anaesthetic assessments while playing games and colouring-in.

“As well as the positive effect on patients, care-givers are also put more at ease seeing their children calm and engaged in a welcoming environment.”

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