Update: BC Children’s Hospital Operating Rooms returned to full capacity in early February - learn more.
At BC Children’s Hospital, our top priority is providing children and their families with the highest quality of medical care.
Like many other hospitals, we are impacted by a worldwide shortage of specially trained OR nurses. Because we serve children throughout the province and beyond, we are working to address this issue while maintaining fully staffed ORs 24 hours a day, seven days a week. No child needing immediate surgical care will be impacted.
To do so, we are examining some previously scheduled elective surgeries and rescheduling them a short time in the future. Surgeries that may be postponed for children are only those that are medically safe to do so. Emergency cases and urgently needed surgeries, as well as most elective surgeries, will continue.
We know this affects some children and their families and we are working hard to minimize that impact. If your child’s surgery requires rescheduling, we will phone you the week prior to the scheduled date. In many cases, we are able to provide details about the new surgical date at that time. We are closely monitoring the rescheduled surgeries to ensure that no child has a surgery rescheduled again.
In addition to ensuring our operating rooms are available 24/7, we are actively recruiting to fill the OR nursing vacancies, training nurses and working with our partners to find other options to ensure surgeries proceed as quickly as possible.
OR nursing requires specialized training, and here at Children’s, there’s the additional specialized training considering we care for very young and tiny patients. Working with little ones means different sized instruments, procedures and medications as well as how they are cared for and supported as they recover.
The decision to reduce the number of ORs in operation was not taken lightly, but it is the best decision to ensure safe, timely care for children. We appreciate your understanding and support as we work to restore our OR capacity fully.