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Child Life Specialist
Brenda Magno helps a patient find his puppys heartbeat
at last years Puppy Pre-Op.
Pre-Op has become a tradition that patient families and others in
the know look forward to every year. The program allows children
to bring their own stuffed animals to the Patient Entertainment
Center and walk them through typical pre-operative hospital procedures.
A limited number of toy puppies were available for children without
stuffed animals of their own.
This years fun began on March 25 in the PEC. Its
a great opportunity for any child to learn about medical treatment,
as well as to learn about Childrens, says Kelly
Wicker, CCLS, Child Life specialist on 10 East and coordinator
of this years events.
Children accompanied their pets through the PEC as they
were admitted to the hospital, got vital signs taken, had blood
drawn, got X-rays, had physical exams and were fitted with bandages
or casts. Staff from the cast room, blood lab, medical play, admitting,
radiology and other areas participated. In addition, the Big Apple
Circus Clown Care Unit provided entertainment, and refreshments
The hospital environment can be overwhelming for
a child, says Wicker. Its important to prepare
patients and families for their experience at the hospital. Puppy
Pre-Op gives the kids a fun, hands-on understanding of whats
going on and gives them control by allowing them to play out their