Surgery at CHOC :: Nursing and Specialty Staff
The exceptional surgical care team at the Tidwell Procedure Center at CHOC Children’s sets us apart from other institutions. Our nursing and specialty staff are dedicated to enhancing the lives of our patients and their families. Beyond providing exceptional care, team members strive to ensure children can still be kids while dealing with the very adult issues of surgery and recovery by providing the absolute finest family-centered care.
Nurse Management Team
The nurses in our management team are registered nurses with specialized training in pediatric surgical services and typically have at least 10 years experience working with pediatric surgery patients. Together, the director and nurse manager:
- Provide leadership for the coordination of clinical and administrative functions for patients and associates in our surgery services units on a 24-hour basis.
- Oversee overall care of the preoperative unit to ensure the delivery of quality care, patient safety and satisfaction, staff performance and education.
- Are responsible for the fiscal and business decisions for specific clinical areas.
Our nurses are among the finest in the country. Many of our nurses are master’s prepared and all have specialized training in pediatrics. A member of our nursing team is with the patient and family every step of the way.
Preoperative Unit Nurse
- Prepares patients for surgery, both physically and emotionally, by explaining procedures and easing patients’ fears.
- Monitors patients’ vitals and administers medications.
- Works with family members at the time of discharge to explain how to care for the child once at home.
Operating Room Scrub Nurse
- Responsible for preparing and transferring sterile instruments to surgeons during a surgical procedure.
- Monitors patients’ conditions during the surgery or procedure.
- Assists the surgical staff as needed.
Operating Room Circulating Nurse
- Makes sure that all necessary equipment and instruments are available in the operating or procedure room.
- Continuously monitors patients’ vital signs and responsiveness during surgery.
- When necessary, leaves the room to gather additional supplies or equipment that the team may need.
- Transports any specimens requiring diagnostic testing to the laboratory.
- Responsible for any documentation in regards to the surgery or procedure.
Recovery Room Nurse
- Responsible for continuously assessing the patient by checking vital signs, pain, the site of the surgical incision, temperature and respiration after surgery.
- Changes dressings, turns patient and conduct breathing exercises as needed.
- Assesses pain after surgery and makes recommendations for pain management.
- Responsible for waking patients from anesthesia after the patient has been admitted into the recovery unit.
- Oversees the day-to-day operation of the preoperative unit.
- Serves as the family contact to answer nursing-related questions or concerns.
In addition to physicians and nurses, our preoperative unit and operating rooms are staffed with specially trained associates who are focused on providing compassionate care.
Preoperative Unit Secretary
- Greets patients, families and visitors upon arrival to the preoperative unit.
- Assists with any questions or needs through phone calls or in-person interactions.
- Gathers all of the paperwork received by the preoperative unit that is needed to prepare patients for surgery.
- Assists with the admission of patients by setting up the room prior to patient arrival, ensuring the whiteboard information is completed and orienting the patient and family to the room and preoperative unit.
- Takes patients’ vital signs, weight, and provides hygiene care, nutritional support and repositioning of the patient as needed under the supervision of our preoperative unit nurse.
Child Life Specialist
- Focuses on the emotional and developmental needs of patients and their families in the preoperative unit.
- Use play and other forms of communication to reduce the stress and anxiety surrounding the surgical experience, and enables children and families to cope in a positive manner.
- Assesses the psychosocial needs of patients and families and provides appropriate therapeutic activities to meet the wide array of unique individual needs.
- Teaches children about ways to cope with physical discomforts such as nausea and pain with nonmedical treatments.
- Offer the finest anesthesia to make children as comfortable during their surgery as possible.
- Administer medications that prevent patients from feeling pain and sensations (anesthetics).
- Closely monitor patients’ vital signs during surgery and adjust anesthetics accordingly.
- Monitor patients through the first recovery stages after a surgery or procedure.
- Administer appropriate medications after surgery.
- Provides pastoral counseling, prayers, rituals and a presence during times of stress and struggle.
- Available for Spanish-speaking patients and families who do not speak English or may feel more comfortable speaking Spanish.
- Translates a patient’s symptoms and medical history to our healthcare team.
- Works with our healthcare team to answer questions and explain tests, procedures and instructions for care after surgery.
|Associate Spotlight: Jessica Oviatt
Jessica Oviatt is a child life specialist and has worked at CHOC Children’s since moving to California from Missouri in 2006. She provides procedural and surgical preparation, education, and support to patients and families.
Read more about Jessica...