Taking the fear out of surgery for young patients

The new Surgical Day Hospital promises patient-friendly facilities
Going into hospital for surgery is nerve-wracking enough; for a child unsure of what's happening around them, it can be downright frightening. The Montreal Children's Hospital hopes to make the experience much easier on young patients and their families with its new Surgical Day Hospital.
The Surgical Day Hospital will be located in the Montreal Children's Hospital when it moves to the Glen site as part of the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC’s) Redevelopment Project.
Simplicity and efficiency are the principles behind the design for the new ward. Patients will arrive at admissions, then move closer to the centre of the ward as they progress towards surgery. The first rooms patients come across will be exam rooms, then treatment rooms, and finally the operating rooms at the core of the Surgical Day Hospital. “It has to be as non-threatening as possible,” explains Barbara Izzard, Associate Director of Nursing at the Children's. “The idea is that a child who does not need complex care should not have to see another child recovering from surgery.”
This is already being put into practice at the current hospital, but the existing physical layout limits what staff can do. “At the Glen, we’ll be able to close the loop and really put best practices into place as our new environment will be designed to support them,” says Izzard.
The Surgical Day Hospital's design is patient-friendly thanks in large part to the members of the user group who contributed their input. The committee, which is made up of MUHC medical, administrative and support staff who work at the Children’s, have made several recommendations to planners and architects to ensure the most efficient design possible.
The first thing visitors will notice is a more aesthetically pleasing environment, with more windows and natural light. The space is designed to ease stress for both patients and staff. Waiting rooms will be in the same area as recovery rooms, which will make it easy for parents to get to their children after a procedure, and in turn for surgical staff to speak to those parents.


“We have also included a consult room for surgeons to speak to parents privately, when they have more delicate or complex information to give,” says Nadia Eldaoud, Clinical Manager of the Pediatric Day Hospital Services. “The whole area is designed to make what can be a complex process as smooth as possible for patients.”