When children are seen in the outpatient clinic and it is decided that they need a surgical procedure the waiting list coordinator is contacted and asked to arrange a date for the child’s surgery and also a date for their pre-operative assessment.
All children are required to attend pre-operative assessment with their parent/s or carer/s. The purpose of the pre-operative assessment is firstly to prepare the child and parent/carer for the forthcoming surgery, through discussion, watching a DVD , undertaking role play and looking at picture books. Secondly its purpose is to assess the child medically and socially to ensure that they are fit for the planned surgery.
At the assessment the child will be seen by a nurse or healthcare assistant where family details will be recorded and routine observations will be taken, such as height, weight, blood pressure and pulse. A surgical doctor and sometimes an anaesthetist will examine the child and record their medical history. Occasionally a blood test or X-ray will be necessary prior to surgery. A play specialist will also be available and we recommend that most children and young people will benefit from seeing them, as they are trained in how to prepare children of all ages for procedures. Young children are encouraged to bring a favourite toy, teddy or cuddly. The play specialist will also show families around the ward that they are due to be admitted to. Information will be given regarding fasting instructions and pre and post operative information relating to your child’s surgery.
This leaflet explains what to expect when your child comes in to hospital to have an operation or investigation under general anaesthesia: Your child’s general anaesthetic