Elliot Health System is a non-profit organization serving your healthcare needs since 1890.

Child Life Program – Preparing for Surgery


Hi There!
Soon you will be coming to the hospital to have surgery. Surgery can be for many different things. Today you will be having surgery. You know how you have been having a lot of pain lately, well this surgery is to help so you will feel better. After the surgery it is important to tell the nurse if you have any pain. They will give you medicine to make you feel better. You may get to go home after surgery or you may stay overnight in the hospital.

We understand that you may be a little scared and not sure what is going to happen, but your doctor, nurses, and child life specialist are here to answer all of your questions. Maybe you will even have a little bit of fun! Please let us know if you have any questions at all ☺

Sincerely,
Your doctor, nurse, and child life specialist



What to Bring

Make sure to bring your favorite stuffed animal because you will be able to bring it wherever you go.

If you will be spending the night after your surgery, you can bring your own pajamas and maybe a couple of your favorite toys.



The Morning of Surgery

You will not be able to have breakfast the morning of your surgery. You can brush your teeth in the morning, just be sure to spit the water out!

We think it is a good idea to have a special dinner the night before your surgery.



When you walk into the hospital on the day of your (Surgery/ MRI), you will see a table like this one at the front door. Here, a person will check your temperature, give you a sticker with your name on it, and ask you and your grown-up some questions about how you’re both feeling today.


To check your temperature, the person at the table will hold a special thermometer near your head to see how warm your body is. You may hear a “beep”, but the thermometer won’t touch you. This is to make sure everyone coming to visit the hospital is safe and healthy.



At the Hospital

Once you park and check in with the secretary, you will get a special bracelet with your name and birthday on it. This will make sure everyone knows who you are.

You will also change into some clothes that look like pajamas. Your clothes will stay with your grown up.



Meeting the Nurse

The nurse needs to make sure you are healthy and ready for surgery. They do this by checking your Vitals.

The nurse will check your temperature, check your blood pressure (which feels like a hug on your arm), and listen to your heart, lungs and maybe even your belly.



Meeting the Anesthesiologist
(also known as the sleepy doctor)

Some kids get the sleepy medicine through an IV (a tiny straw in your vein) and some get it through a mask. If you get an IV, the doctor will connect the medicine right to your tiny straw. If you have a mask you will just take nice deep breaths. Before you know it, you will be waking up and the procedure will be all done! Even if you got the sleepy medicine through a mask, you will still wake up with an IV. It will be taken out before you go home.



The nurses and doctors in the operating room will be wearing hats, masks, gloves and clothes that kind of look like pajamas. They wear these clothes to make sure everything stays very clean in the operating room. See if you can recognize the people you have already met when they have their masks on!



Going to the Operating Room

When it’s time for your surgery, you will be brought to a room called the Operating Room. In this room you will see some big lights over the bed. These lights help the doctor see and can be moved to where the doctor needs them.

You might also see a lot of different machines in the room, but not all of them will be used in your surgery. The room is used for many different kinds of surgeries.

This is when the sleepy doctor will give you the medicine to fall asleep. When you wake up it will be all done!



Waking Up

After your surgery, you will wake up in a room called the PACU. There may be others waking up from other surgeries there too. Soon after you wake up, your mom or dad will come to stay with you.

It is important to tell the nurse if you have any pain when you wake up so they can help you feel better. The nurses will ask you to point to the face that looks closest to how you are feeling. If you are older they may ask you what number your pain is. 0 or the smiley face is no pain and 10 or the crying face is the worst pain you’ve ever felt.






Spending the Night

When it’s time for your surgery, you will be brought to a room called the Operating Room. In this room you will see some big lights over the bed. These lights help the doctor see and can be moved to where the doctor needs them.

You might also see a lot of different machines in the room, but not all of them will be used in your surgery. The room is used for many different kinds of surgeries.

This is when the sleepy doctor will give you the medicine to fall asleep. When you wake up it will be all done!



Going Home

When you are feeling better, and the doctor feels you are well enough, you will go home!

Make sure to ask the nurse or doctor if you have any questions.

If you would like additional support with preparing your child for surgery or feel it would be helpful to have a child life specialist present on the day of surgery, please contact Child Life Services.

To contact Child Life at Elliot Hospital
please call the office at:
(603) 663-3416
or e-mail us at:
lcremmen@elliot-hs.org
Monday-Friday 8am-7pm