The surgery center will be dedicated to spaces that support the eight pediatric operating rooms and 32 preoperative and postoperative recovery rooms on Level 5.

Onstage (Public) Areas

The surgery center will include areas for family members of pediatric patients undergoing surgery. Families arriving for outpatient surgery should stop at a registration desk.

A large family lounge will feature high-backed sofas that provide privacy and comfort. Windows will let in natural light. Kid-friendly furnishings will include chairs shaped like dogs. In addition, a fish tank will provide added distraction and enjoyment.

The lounge will include a patient status board. Each family will receive a patient identification number to ensure privacy. The board will display the patient’s ID number and surgery status, such as “in OR” or “scheduled.” The board also will show the operating room used and the estimated length of surgery. Color-coded bars on the sign will provide additional information, such as stage of recovery.

Across from the lounge will be a playroom designed to help entertain young siblings. Nearby, a separate space will provide a place for families to park strollers and patient-owned wheelchairs. That area also will feature lockers for storing belongings. This storage area will be a welcome addition to the children’s hospital. The dedicated area will help free up space in the lounge when those items are not being used.

A private consultation room next to the lounge will offer a space where families and surgeons can talk. The surgery center will also include family restrooms and a family lactation space.

Families will continue to receive a pager so they can be notified when surgery is complete. In many cases, patients will be sent from an operating room to the Post-Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) on Level 5. PACU rooms will be designated for first-stage recovery. This is the immediate post-anesthesia period of care. Patients require constant monitoring during this stage.  

After surgery, Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (PCICU) and Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) patients will be moved directly to their patient rooms on Level 3.

If a child undergoes a short surgery (one hour or less), family members can remain in the preop/postop room on Level 5 where surgery prep is done.

Offstage (Staff) Areas

Support space in the surgery center will include central sterilizing services (CSS). The large space will be used to sterilize 95 percent of instruments used in the children’s hospital. Gas sterilization will continue to be performed in University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. Scope sterilization will be handled in a new space on Level 8 of UI Hospitals and Clinics, which opened in summer 2016.

The CSS team helped design the space where they will work. Large windows allow plenty of natural light, providing a pleasant environment. Ergonomic workstations will increase comfort. The new workstations should also reduce aches that can occur when performing repetitive tasks.

Male and female locker rooms will be located in the middle of the offstage area. Scrub dispensing machines will be next to each locker room. A conference room is located offstage as well. For convenience, the surgery center will include a staff lactation space. Employees will benefit from a large staff lounge and large kitchen. The lounge will be equipped with two monitors that can be used for staff meetings. A large workroom with 18 workstations will enhance teamwork among all employees working in the surgery center. It is located next to the connector.

Eight separate on-call rooms for staff will be located on this level. Several offices will be located offstage, including those for pediatric anesthesia, nurse managers, and child life. 

To make it easier to move beds, the hallway at the end of the connector has been widened. An angled wall makes it easier to move beds quickly and easily.

Like other floors, the surgery will include staff areas offstage. These will include patient and service elevators and trash and linen holding rooms. A large space in the surgery center will be dedicated to a water treatment plant. This area treats water used in central sterilization. It also will provide treated water for pediatric dialysis.

The offstage areas of the surgery center have been designed for efficiency and collaboration. The public areas aim to make waiting for a patient in surgery less stressful.

Getting there: Take the public elevators to Level 4; look for the green turtle icon. Employees may also use the connector that links an area near the UI Heart and Vascular Center on Level 4 of John Pappajohn Pavilion to our new children’s hospital.