Young patients headed into the operating room at Rady’s Children’s Hospital in San Diego just got a sick new upgrade: a fleet of Power Wheels. The children can choose one of the new vehicles and take a joy ride around the hallway before it’s time for their procedure.
Rady’s Children Hospital is a non-profit facility and the region’s only pediatric trauma center. They’re dedicated to training the next generation of doctors who will specifically work with children and also operate the largest children’s hospital in the state of California. The three cars that make up the new fleet were donated to the hospital by the San Diego Police Department courtesy of their annual teddy bear drive, which raises money and toys specifically for children at the hospital. By the looks of this video, the donations are being put to damn good use.
Now, the kids aren’t driving the mini-vehicles. Doctors follow along and control the remote; the patients, however, do control the steering wheel. The entire experience is meant to put patients in a joyful mindset before they arrive in the operating room, which can be a very stressful place for a young kid. Doctors also believe that parents seeing their kids drive the cars lessens their anxiety about their child going into surgery. Hospital administration says they will expand the existing fleet in the future — and, hopefully, spray paint some sick hot rod graphics on the side.