EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Going to the hospital can be difficult for anyone of any age, but especially for children. At Providence Children’s Hospital, the goal is to make the experience as fun as possible, according to staff.
“When parents and children come into Providence Children’s Hospital, I want the children to feel safe, I want them to feel comfortable, and I want the parents to feel hope that their child who came in here sick will leave here much better,” said Nicholas Tejeda the CEO of Providence Children’s Hospital.
Tejeda says the most common misconception is that children are little adults, but that’s far from the truth. At Providence they try to meet the unique needs of both parents and children that cannot be met in the environment of an adult hospital.
For children going into surgery instead of riding on a gurney they ride to the operating room in a red corvette. In an effort to calm the parents and the child’s nerves.
“We come in here and we’re scared and it’s helped a lot just being able to have that little comfort,” said Molly Saenz a patients mother.
Molly’s son Joel has autism and the car has helped keep him calm and get out of his hospital room.
“He gets a little frustrated and the anxiety kicks in, So him just being able to come out and be in the car has helped him a lot,” said Saenz.
One of the most nerve-racking experiences for a child can be getting a CT scan. To help make it more fun, the hospital has an imaging machine made to look like a sand castle.
“They think it’s awesome they’ll come in here they’ll ask if they can bring their Teddy bear, if they can take a picture, it’s very relaxing for them,” said Sylvia Lopez the Children’s Imaging Center Manager.
CEO Tejeda says a main goal he has for the hospital is to offer parents the care they need close to home.
“As a parent I can tell you that it means the world to me that I know my children can receive care here in El Paso,” said Tejeda.
Tejeda says Hospital of Providence cares for about 40% of the children in El Paso. They plan to continue to invest in keeping families local by recruiting new physicians and adding new services to allow parents to stay near home. This would allow them to stay home and not have to travel to other cities during difficult times.