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E-booklet reduces stress of children undergoing procedures in Terrace


Woman and child hold hands outside hospital
E-booklet cover for kids having procedures at Mills Memorial Hospital in Terrace.

Surgery can be stressful – most especially for little people.

That’s why Mills Memorial Hospital (MMH) in Terrace has a fun, visual e-booklet that kids and their caregivers can read to learn what to expect prior to their procedure.

“A big reason for creating this resource was to help kids and their caregivers feel more comfortable coming into the hospital for surgery and to help ease their stress,” said Project Manager Meredith Skimson of the Terrace Physicians Initiative Group Society (TPIGS). “All the feedback we’ve received tells us it’s working so we are very pleased with the results.”

Similar to a children’s book

The e-booklet has a similar look and feel as a children’s book, with big pictures and kid-friendly font and language. It shows each step a child and their caregiver will take on the day of the surgery, starting from waiting in line at reception.

“When kids have operations at the hospital they are never alone,” the booklet says.

The 30-page booklet was created in early 2022 and is emailed to kids once they are scheduled in for surgery.

Dr. Andrea Geller, an anesthesiologist who works at MMH, had the initial idea for the book. She was inspired by a similar resource available at BC Children's Hospital in Vancouver.

“Going in for surgery can be anxiety-inducing and not knowing where to go or what’s going to happen can make it even worse,” she said. “Anything we can do to help make patients more comfortable betters the experience for everyone.

“Children haven’t had as much experience with the health care system as adults, and a surgery is something they may remember for the rest of their life. We want to make the experience as positive as possible, for the child and their caregiver,” said Geller.

The e-booklet project is a facility engagement initiative of TPIGS and was supported by Doctors of BC. TPIGS regularly receives messages about how much the e-booklet improved a child’s experience at MMH.