Hospitals are raising spirits and decreasing anxiety in their younger patients by having them drive their own mini car to surgery.
Some of the mini cars are equipped with a stereo, which has a variety of preloaded music and an MP3 player, as well as functioning headlights, taillights and dashboard lights. They can be operated by the kids themselves, or by remote control. The cars are very safe — they have working doors, a seat belt and a horn.
Doctors Medical Center in Modesto, California, has two cars, a black Mercedes and a pink Volkswagen Beetle. According to CBS news, the center purchased the first car, but the second was donated by an employee and her family.
WellSpan York Hospital is turning its hallways into a speedway with a mini Grand Prix.
“It’s kind of awesome that we can have an influence and make their day fun,” said perioperative Nurse Jenn Puglisi, who’s into her second year at WellSpan York and helped turned this plan into a reality.
“I think it helps the parents, too, to see their kid going back [to surgery] willingly and not drugged up, but instead happy and having a good time. It was pretty awesome to know all of our work has actually paid off.”
Rady Children’s Hospital’s patients are riding to the operation room in style thanks to donations from law enforcement in San Diego. They have the choice between a BMW, Mercedes, or Lamborghini. Now, they also have a little Cadillac as an option.
According to USA Today, doctors have noticed the positive effect the program has had on the patients. Kids and parents are not only more relaxed, but they are actually asking about the cars before the patient even gets registered for surgery.
The Studer Family Children’s Hospital at Sacred Heart in Pensacola, Florida give their patients their own “driver’s license,” personalized with their name and photo. Their fleet of cars include a red Porsche, white Land Rover, red convertible, blue Audi, and a red Mercedes.
“Driving these cars helps our patients to feel more in control during their hospital experience. Instead of being wheeled into surgery, the children grip the steering wheel and feel like they have the power,” said Cat Outzen, Director of Children’s Programs and Community Outreach for The Studer Family Children’s Hospital at Sacred Heart. “This cuts down on stress levels and helps kids heal faster.