Preparation for surgery with the induction of general anesthesia is one of the most stressful events that a child can experience. It produces several threats to the child, including physical harm, parent separation, and fear of the unknown. Anesthesia providers utilize non-pharmacological and pharmacological interventions to decrease this preoperatively. However, little is known about the non-pharmacological interventions utilized by anesthesia providers in practice. The purpose of this study was to explore non-pharmacological interventions utilized by anesthesia providers before and during the induction of general anesthesia to reduce preoperative distress in children ages one to six years old. A qualitative descriptive approach was used in this study. Twenty anesthesia providers, fourteen registered nurse anesthetists and six anesthesiologists, participated in face to face, in-depth interviews in South Florida. Content analysis was used to identify and define the major themes that emerged from the interviews. A total of seven main themes were identified. Only the three themes directly related to parent-provider-child relationship are discussed in this paper: (I) Communication, (II) Observational Skills, and (III) Parental Presence. The anesthesia providers who participated in this study offered an opportunity to better understand the non-pharmacological interventions used to impact the management of preoperative distress among children. Study findings provide evidence about non-pharmacological anesthesia providers' clinical work not found elsewhere in the literature. Non-pharmacological interventions are effective in reducing preoperative distress in children.
- Nurse anesthetist
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