Online Video Allows Regional Paediatric Patients to Prepare for Surgery

Rej introducing himself

Today, members of the Operating Room staff, volunteers and patients were on hand at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre (TBRHSC) to officially launch an online video designed to improve paediatric care in Northwestern Ontario.

The video, which stars a young puppet named Rej who is going in for his first surgery, is designed for young patients who are located too far to attend TBRHSC’s Paediatric OR tour in person.

The OR staff at TBRHSC has been offering Perioperative Paediatric Tours for the past 5 years to ensure that the operating room is no longer a scary or intimidating place for paediatric patients when they arrive for their surgery. The tours, which run from September to June, allow the children and the parents/caregiver to become familiar with the hospital staff and equipment they will encounter during their visit.

When the tour begins, children and their families are always greeted by a nurse from the OR team, as well as Phoebe, a friendly puppet with a fuzzy, orange smile. From there, they are accompanied on a walking tour, have the opportunity to dress up in scrubs, view a live puppet show, visit with the recovery room nurses, and enjoy snacks purchased by the generous staff.

“Many parents have questions and worries when they have a child coming in for surgery. Children also have questions and worries and it is important to validate their fears and to reassure them”, says Ron Turner, Director of Surgery and Ambulatory Services at TBRHSC. “Positive results are seen in children who have been through our tour. The children are confident and less anxious and their parents or caregivers are more relaxed.”

Now that a video version of this paediatric tour is available online, young patients across the region will benefit from having the same type of preview prior to their surgery. Patients and their families can view the video by visiting

Over the next several weeks, TBRHSC will also be reaching out to family physicians and other healthcare providers in Northwestern Ontario to help promote the video. They will be provided with additional resources such as an information brochure, posters, and postcards to help inform their patients of this valuable resource.

Media contact:

Marcello Bernardo
Communications Officer
Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre
P. (807) 684-6765