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The Operating Room

Picture of male physician during surgery

What is the operating room like?

The operating room can be a intimidating place, with unfamiliar equipment and people dressed in strange outfits. If your child visits the hospital prior to surgery, some of the equipment may be shown to him/her by a child life specialist. A child life specialist is a person that is specially trained in the growth and developmental needs of children.

One thing your child will need to know is that people in the operating room will be wearing surgical clothes to help prevent germs from infecting the surgical incision. The surgical clothing includes the following:

The surgeon may also wear special glasses that help him/her to see more clearly.

Children need to be aware that the people in the operating room will be wearing this attire, because they can become frightened if not aware that the staff will be wearing strange clothes. If your child is able to visit the hospital before surgery, ask if he/she can play with the gloves, mask, and cap so they are not so scary.

Learning about the operating room equipment:

Picture of the operating room during surgery

The following is a brief list of equipment your child may see in the operating room. However, each operating room varies depending on the type of surgery being performed. Also, many children are given medication to help them sleep before going to surgery, and may not be awake enough to notice the equipment.

If your child is awake and still has questions about the equipment once he/she goes into surgery, the surgical staff can answer his/her questions in the operating room. To determine what words to use to explain and describe the operating room equipment to your child, consult a child life specialist for recommendations.

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