Wednesday, September 22, 2010 - Coral Springs Medical Center’s Innovative Pre-Operative Tour Puts Children’s Minds at Ease Before Surgery

Coral Springs, FL - When a child is having surgery, it can be scary. But knowing what to expect before going to the hospital can make the experience less frightening. Coral Springs Medical Center’s(CSMC) nurses and pediatric specialists came together to create a pediatric pre-operative virtual tour.

The online virtual tour is designed for children (ages four to eight) and their families to explore CSMC’s Outpatient Surgery Center through pictures and information.  They will learn about what will happen on the day of their outpatient surgery, all from the comfort of their home computer. Research has shown that most children prepared for medical procedures experience significantly lower levels of fear and anxiety compared to children who are not prepared.

“Creating this virtual tour was a wonderful experience to see a vision grow that will help our community of pediatric surgeries,” said Cathy Baird, RN. “It was important for us to make this tour as family-friendly as possible with simple verbiage for everybody to understand. Seeing the finished product live on the web was very rewarding.”

The tour is 15 slides of photos and basic information that teaches children from start to finish about what they will experience the day of surgery. The slides are easy to read, colorful, and have detailed photos of each step of the way. Through viewing the tour, children meet the staff they’ll see the day of surgery, and learn about what’s going to happen, what they’ll see, and why. On certain slides, there are words and phrases to click to find out their meaning which then connects to KidsHealth®, a fun, interactive website specifically for parents, teens, and kids. There are even phone numbers listed on each slide if parents have any further questions after watching the tour with their children. The pediatric pre-operative virtual tour can be accessed by visiting

“Families and their children are already accessing the virtual tour.  The knowledge about the surgical process brings them peace of mind before coming into our hospital,” said Janice Zack, CCLS, certified child life specialist. “We want to turn a sometimes negative experience for kids into a positive one, and allow them to feel like they have been helped.”

CSMC’s Child Life Program provides emotional support for patients and families who often experience feelings of anxiety and helplessness in the unfamiliar environment of the hospital. For more information, call (954) 344-3390.

Broward Health, providing service for more than 50 years, is a nationally recognized system offering world class health care services to our neighbors in South Florida. One of the 10 largest public health systems in the nation, Broward Health includes Broward General Medical Center, North Broward Medical Center, Imperial Point Medical Center, Coral Springs Medical Center, Chris Evert Children’s Hospital, Broward Health Weston and more than 30 facilities of the Community Health Services and Broward Health Physician Group. For more information visit,

Coral Springs Medical Center pediatric specialists who helped create the pediatric pre-operative tour. (L to R): Cathy Baird, RN, ambulatory care; Janice Zack, CCLS, certified child life specialist; and Patricia Peak, RN, day unit.