We understand that an upcoming surgery can be stressful not only for your child but your whole family as well. For your child, there’s concern for the unknown, and for you, there’s the worry of how things will go. We are parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts and uncles, and so we share your empathy for your child. Our goal is to make the experience as comfortable and worry-free as possible for your child so your family can have peace of mind.
The night before
You will play a big role in creating a pleasant experience for your child. Here are a few simple directions to follow the night before your child’s surgery:
- Please do not give your child anything to eat or drink after midnight, unless otherwise instructed by your doctor.
- To decrease the chance of infection after surgery, have your child bathe and put on clean pajamas. Make sure bed sheets are clean as well.
- Talk to your child in simple terms about the upcoming procedure.
- Prepare them that they will be separated from you for the procedure and initially once in recovery, but we reunite you as soon as possible. Let them know that their care team will be with them every step of the way.
Day of surgery: checking in
Follow these instructions for a smooth experience prior to your child’s surgery:
- Before leaving home, be sure you have your insurance card and a list of any medications your child currently takes, along with payment for copay, deposit or deductible based on your insurance coverage.
- To help your child feel secure, you can bring their favorite toy, blanket, robe or slippers if they have been freshly cleaned. We will provide pajamas for their stay.
- When you arrive at Randall Children’s Hospital, park in the orange parking structure.
- Check in at Main Admitting in the lobby of Randall Children's Hospital. You will then be directed to the lower level, where Children's Day Surgery is located.
At the hospital: pre-surgery
From the moment you arrive, your child will be cared for by a team that treats them with compassion and understanding.
- A nurse will get your child ready for surgery, do a quick exam, and ask you about their health history and current medications.
- To ensure your family’s security, we will give you and your child matching ID bracelets.
- Your child will change into hospital pajamas.
- If there’s time, your child can watch TV in their room or spend some time in our playroom.
- Just before surgery, your child may get medicine to help them relax.
- You can be with your child through pre-surgery procedures to provide support.
- In the pre-surgery area, you will have the chance to speak with your child’s surgeon, anesthesiologist and operating room nurse. All of our Day Surgery experts are available to answer questions and offer peace of mind.
Surgery and recovery
- During your child’s surgery, you will wait in the family waiting lounge on the surgery level. Your surgeon will talk with you here after surgery is completed.
- After surgery, your child will go to the recovery room or Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) to wake up.
- We offer several locations to wait based on the length of the surgery and procedure location.
- After surgery, it’s normal for your child to be sleepy. Your child may have an I.V. in their vein for fluids or medicine. We encourage you to stay with your child during recovery to care for them. Our nurses will also be checking your child’s vital signs and level of comfort.
- Once your child is awake, we’ll offer them something simple to eat or drink, such as apple juice, popsicles and jello.
- Feel free to speak with the nurse if you have any concerns about your child’s post-surgery and recovery progress.
Post-recovery: going home
- When your child is ready to go home, your nurse will give you instructions about home care, activity, diet and any medicines the doctor has prescribed.
- You may have prescriptions filled in the Emanuel Apothecary located on the first floor in the Atrium, or at your local pharmacy.
- Your child will ride out to the hospital entrance in a wheelchair or wagon or may be carried by an adult.
- You will receive a call 24-48 hours to see how your child is doing.
- When your child is resting comfortably at home, it’s a good idea for you to get some rest, too.
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