Fairview Range Blog

A Sense of Home: Fairview Range’s Approach to Children’s ENT Department Surgeries

Your ears, nose, and throat make up a large part of your senses. Sixty percent to be exact. So when it comes to caring for them, it’s good to know that there’s a place nearby that can help. Fairview Range’s Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) department can handle an array of issues and surgeries and is located right in Hibbing. 

The ENT department is made up of Dr. Kristin Fredrickson, ENT-otolaryngologist, Tara Ruud, physician assistant, and Jennifer Salminen, nurse practitioner, plus 12 other on-staff nurses. 

ENT Department Surgery Capabilities 




Tympanostomy tube insertion

Sinus/nasal surgery


Chin augmentation/implant

Thyroid surgery

Neck surgery

Skin lesion 

Ear surgery



Orbital fracture



Oral lesion removal

Balloon sinuplasty

Turbinate reduction


Lesion removals


While swollen tonsils and insistent ear aches are worrisome, it’s even more so when it’s happening to your child. The good news is that the ENT department is robust and readily equipped to replace ear tubes, reconstruct eardrums, and remove tonsils, the three most common ENT surgeries for children. They are also able to treat children as young as six months. 

An unknown experience like a surgery can be a scary experience for a little one. That’s why Fairview pays special attention to the children surgery experience. It is Fairview Range’s manager of surgical specialities, Christina Covier, who ensures the whole process is easy as it can be for children and their families. 

“We’re not a children’s hospital, but we’re very child focused,” says Covier. “We’ve put a lot of thought and energy into creating an experience that makes surgery less of an ordeal for everyone.”

The surgery department’s commitment to this is very apparent. From its set up to its process to the team’s attitude, everyone and everything is on the same page. 

Set Up
The surgery department aims to make being away from home as comfortable as possible. They’ve dedicated three separate spaces to children. Each one is solely there for children undergoing surgery. Instead of feeling bare and steril, each room is decorated in a child-friendly theme. Right now, art from The Minions, Frozen, and Star Wars adorn the walls. It’s a fun atmosphere that gives young ones a sense of home. 

“It surrounds the child with something familiar and fun when they’re going through something unfamiliar and not so fun,” says Covier. “We try to bring this comfort to every part of the surgery process.” 

Speaking of process, the ENT department has a well-organized process for every surgery. But with children, there are a few added elements. First, a parent or guardian is always welcome to be at their child’s side from the start all the way to when anesthesia takes effect. Before a child even enters a surgery room, they meet a nurse in one of the children’s rooms. He or she will greet the child and take time to get to know them. Only after the child feels comfortable does the nurse prepare them for surgery. During this time, the surgeon will come in and explain to the child exactly what will happen next. 

“Having Dr. Fredrickson walk my own child through what was going to happen leading up to the procedure made such a difference,” explains Covier. “I could just see the fear drain off her face.”

Another way the ENT department makes the experience better is by providing each child with a doctor’s bag. This is filled with everything they’ll see their surgeon and nurses wearing and using, including a bonnet, gloves, gauze, and band-aids. It’s also got a rubber ducky, and a coloring book, and crayons. It’s a way to make the whole experience less stressful and more fun. 

After the surgery, your child will be brought back to one of the children’s rooms. There, they’ll be woken by a nurse and given time to rest and recuperate. They’ll be greeted by the same nurse who helped them get ready for surgery. This allows each child to wake up to someone familiar. A parent or guardian can also be around at this time. After waking up, the surgeon will reassess the child and make sure everything is good. If that is deemed the case, the family can head home to rest and recover.  

“It’s wonderful to have this option at Fairview,” says Covier. “Having a surgery is uncomfortable, especially for a child, and being able to go home the day of makes a huge difference for both the child and the parent.” 

The ENT department is always finding ways to improve their services. This can be in how the clinic and the surgery department work together, or it can go beyond Fairview’s doors. 

“My job is to find ways to make our surgery department even better,” explains Covier. “One surprising way we do this is by connecting with several local dentists. Sometimes they see enlarged tonsils while doing exams. They now have our information to pass on to families when they spot this. This relationship allows people to get the help they didn’t know their child needed.” 

A Sense of Home
Covier and her team work hard to make sure everyone visiting the ENT department feels right at home. “Patient care is our overall goal,” she says. “We’re here to take care of our patients and provide them with the care they need.” 

Whether you or a family member needs care in the ear, nose, or throat department, Fairview Range is there to help. To learn more about their services and surgery department, contact their team at 218-362-6175 or visit www.fairview.org/range.


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