Approaches to Anxiety

The Second Part of your Journey to being Really Ready

Reducing anxiety before anaesthesia and surgery

We have a simple approach for learning to be calm prior to anaesthesia and surgery.

  1. Be well prepared and learn what you need to learn in order to be calm and in control.
  2. Always be honest. Kids will cope. Parents will cope. We can all achieve more than we think we can. If needed we can help.
  3. Learning to manage your reactions to things you can’t control is important.

Being calm lets you stay in control and to grow from the experience.

Being calm before surgery helps your child’s recovery after surgery.

How can we help you and your child to be calm?

  1. Taking the Really Ready journey will help you to face challenges by being prepared knowing you will be supported. This will allow you to overcome the challenges and grow stronger. We will help you to be more resilient.
  2. Be informed about coming to hospital.
    1. Know about your surgery.
    2. Know about your anaesthesia.
    3. Take the hospital tours in the first part of the Really Ready Journey.
    4. Know that we are here to help and care for your child. To keep them safe.
  3.  Use the techniques to stay calm.
    1. Watch the “calming” videos and then practice becoming calm.
    2. Be mindful with the “Smiling Minds App” mindfulness for kids and parents. Start this 1-2 weeks prior to surgery and practice this daily.

Why do we suggest an open and honest approach to talking to kids about anaesthesia and surgery?

We know that kids can be nervous coming to hospital but we also know that kids can learn about their hospital visit, learn about their anaesthesia care and with support can actually grow stronger and more resilient by facing these challenges. It’s important to talk at the appropriate level of understanding for your child – that will depend on their age, experience and interest in knowing.

Using the anxiety techniques can be very effective and is best done by parent(s) and their child together. Using mindfulness together also allows a different way of viewing problems and challenges. Spend some time each day using the mindfulness exercises to increase your calm.

When you get to hospital and meet your anaesthetist, they will discuss ways we can help your child to go to sleep safely whilst being able to manage their nervousness.

These days that most often means using distractions, stories, singing and imagination to make that easier. Less than 1 in 5 children need sedative medication prior to anaesthesia and your anaesthetist will discuss that with you along with other information about the anaesthesia.

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