We know that a visit to the hospital may be a new, different and frightening experience for your child. Because you know in advance that your child will be admitted for outpatient surgery, you have an opportunity to prepare him or her for this experience. We'd like to help you with some special tips. There are several things that you as a parent can do to ease your child's anxiety or fear.
First, talk to your child about going to the hospital. What you say to your child will vary according to their age and any previous experience they may have had. We suggest that you do not give your child more details than he or she can absorb.
Be as honest as you can. Avoid telling your child that a shot or form of treatment will not hurt when you know that it will. Fear of the unknown accounts for much of the fear a child and parents have about hospitalization. The more your child understands, the less frightening the experience will be. We highly encourage a pre-op class for both you and your child to help alleviate this fear. Included in this class will be a tour of the surgery and ambulatory departments, the places where your child can see ‘first-hand' where he or she will be going the day of surgery. A pre-op class may be scheduled by calling the 532.4167. Classes are offered Monday through Friday at various times during business hours.
Children may bring along a special toy or blanket to help them feel more secure in an unusual environment. Please bring any necessary bottle formula or milk your child may want following surgery (it's a good idea to check with your child's physician regarding food intake following surgery). If your child is in diapers, please bring an extra dry diaper for after surgery.
Plan on being with your child after he or she returns to their room. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call the Ambulatory department at 532-4167.