Having to undergo an operation can be a scary thing to endure, especially if the patient is just 9-years-old.
But doctors across the country are finding out there is a little something they can do to help child patients feel less anxious about having to have surgery.
They are ‘operating’ on stuffed animals.
Ryan Jasen, 9, had to have surgery. But he wasn’t the only patient his surgeon, Dr. Travis Groth, operated on that day at the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.
Dr. Groth also operated on Jasen’s stuffed Mike Wazowski character from the movie, Monster’s Inc., according to Upworthy.
Check out this picture from our operating room. After performing surgery on a young boy, Dr. Groth made the extra effort to perform an additional surgery on the boy’s best friend — his stuffed animal. Our doctors, nurses and staff go out of their way to make sure every child feels comfortable and safe. Whether it’s stitching up their favorite toy or dressing up as their favorite character, we know how to make children feel better.
When Jasen woke up, he saw his stuffed friend next to him with bandages just like Jasen’s. The sight of his best buddy looking like him eased Jasen and made him feel happy and relaxed, a great feeling to have while recuperating.
But Jasen isn’t the only lucky kid to have a doctor go out of their way to make a patient feel relaxed and less stressed while staying in the hospital.
Parents of children who have also had to undergo surgery at the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin have told stories of their child’s stuffed animal waiting for them when they woke up, bandages and all.
Doctor’s say that stuffed animal surgeries play a huge role in keeping children calm during their hospital stay, according to Upworthy.
8-year-old Michelle and her family got a nice surprise as they were walking around our hospital yesterday afternoon when they came across a Teddy Bear Clinic put on by our child life and expressive therapies team. Kids could stop by, pick up a bear and take on the role of doctor for their new cuddly friends. Activities included finger casting, X-rays and general medical exams, along with being able to make buddy bracelets. Letting kids take an active role in the medical process helps empower them and provides a good way for them to cope with any fears and worries they might have. Michelle hadn’t given her bear a name just yet, but we know she’s going to give her a good home! #KidsDeserveTheBest
Dr. Groth makes sure each stuffed animal that has surgery done mimics that of the patient it belongs to. That way their bandages will match the child’s, and they can recover together.
The extra step the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin takes to make their little patients feel relaxed and special has gained lots of attention and even more praise.
And from the children and their family, well it’s a heartwarming gesture that isn’t soon forgotten.