The preoperative program (POP) gives families the opportunity to visit Hasbro Children's Hospital several days prior to surgery. Since a majority of pediatric surgeries occur on a same-day basis, this may represent the only opportunity to alleviate anxiety through an on-site visit aimed at addressing the common fears of both children and parents. The lack of a preoperative visit has been shown to be a particular risk factor for anxiety in the pre-school group, but all ages have specific concerns that are understood by nursing, child-life and medical staff members at Hasbro Children's.
The POP program includes a hospital-specific DVD, interactive demonstration of operating room equipment and procedures and a preoperative anesthesia consultation. Concrete information is presented to younger children so that they will have fewer "unknowns" on the day of surgery. Preoperative anesthesia consultation should allow for both evaluation of a child's medical history and individual risk factors and also the ability to discern a patient's personality and likely response to stress. The role of the parent in alleviating anxiety is emphasized. In short, the POP program provides an interactive mechanism to prepare families for the operating suite so that their unique needs may be met on the day of surgery.