- Check in by signing your child's name at the receptionist's desk. You will be given directions as to where you should wait for the doctor or nurse.
- A legal guardian must sign both physician and surgery consent forms. Surgery cannot be done if these are not signed.
- Bring your insurance card and any paperwork your child's doctor have given you to the surgery location.
- Help your child feel more in control of the situation by offering choices—what to wear, what to bring (for example a favorite toy or game for after the procedure), etc.—when possible.
- A Child Life team is available to work with patients and families to help reduce the stress and anxiety that can be associated with the healthcare experience.
- Smile. Put your child at ease by showing your confidence, not your concerns.
"Pre-Op" is where you will wait before your child's procedure. While you're in the Pre-Op area, we will ask questions about your child's health. We may ask some questions more than once, but this helps us gather very detailed information.
- We will listen to your child's heart and check your child's temperature and breathing.
- Your child will be given a hospital gown that ties in the back. You may leave on your child's underpants or diaper and socks.
- Jewelry, nail polish, contact lenses, eyeglasses and any metal hair clips must be removed from your child.
- A member of the anesthesia team will ask about your child's medical history.
- Shortly before your child's procedure, he may be given a small amount of medicine to drink. Your child should become very relaxed and may become groggy or wobbly.
- It is important to either hold your child securely or place him on the bed with the side rails up.
- Watch your child carefully and follow the nurse's instructions so he does not fall.
Sometimes there are unavoidable delays in the operating room schedule. Our staff will keep you informed should this happen. We ask you to let us know if your surgery is delayed more than 15 minutes after your procedure time. Please speak to your child's nurse for additional information.
Child Anesthesia Care
Anesthesia is medicine that lets a part of the body, or the whole body, go to sleep before a procedure so the child will not feel anything during the procedure. An anesthesiologist is a doctor who gives the “sleep medicine” to your child.
- A staff member from our Anesthesiology department will talk to you about giving your child anesthesia.
- Anesthesia care services are billed separately from other charges. Please call your insurance company to make sure they will pay for the cost of the anesthesia. You will be billed for costs not covered by your insurance.
- Anesthesia is given to your child using a clear plastic mask that covers his nose and mouth. It may look a little scary, but it is not at all painful.
- Depending on the procedure, your child may be given intravenous (I.V.) medicine and fluids through a tube in his arm while he is asleep. The I.V. will still be in his arm when he wakes up.
Time for the Procedure
When it is time for your child's procedure, a member of the Operating Room (OR) team will come to your child's bedside. You will have “hugs and kisses” time with your child, and then a member of the healthcare team will take your child to the OR.
Your child will not be left alone from this point until he is able to rejoin you. The OR nurse and many others will watch over your child with tender, loving care.
You need to stay at the surgery location during your child's surgery, so your child's doctor can find you in case there are any questions.
One parent may be allowed to accompany your child to the operating room. This will be determined by a member of the anesthesia team on the day of surgery. As a general rule, this is for children ages 6 months to 12 years.
While Your Child is in Surgery
- Depending on what type of surgery your child is having, he may be in the operating room for just a short time or for several hours. Your doctor will tell you how long the procedure should take.
- Your child's scheduled surgery time is an estimate. It is important that we take as much time as necessary with each patient, so delays can occur. If you have any questions or concerns about this, please ask a staff member.
- You can wait for your child in the postoperative (post-op) area, where two family members will be assigned a room. These rooms are similar to those in the pre-op area, or you may go to the waiting area if your child's procedure takes more time.
- If your child is having a procedure that takes more time, one parent can leave the center to get something to eat or to get some air, but one parent or guardian must remain in the surgery center at all times. Tell the nurse if you leave, and please make sure your absence is brief-- your child or the staff may need you.