It is very important to us that you know that our staff has extensive experience and special training taking care of children. We have big hearts for "our kids." Please be assured that your child will be comforted and well cared for when you are not with them.
If it is your first time with a child having surgery, or if you have had previous experiences we know and understand this is "a big deal." We want to help prepare you and your child to make this experience as smooth as possible.
Properly preparing your child for surgery is important to the child's recovery process and overall well being. We welcome parents to bring their child in for a tour of the facility prior to the surgery so they can orient themselves to where they will be and what to expect.
- We suggest that you talk to your child about what is going to happen. Use simple explanations. The younger the child, the more general you should keep the information. Preschool children are very literal. Use words such as "fix" and "get better" rather than "take out" or "cut." School age children can be given more information based on their developmental age and level of maturity.
- It is important that you are truthful with your child and remember that sometimes "too much" information may frighten them. If they ask you if it will hurt, be honest. Tell them "if it does, we will give you medicine to help the hurt go away." Reassure them they will not be left alone and you will be waiting for them.
- Children feel and react to the anxiety of those around them, so remaining calm and confident when discussing their surgery and during their recovery will help them cope more successfully.
- The Nebraska Surgery Center offers the advantage of allowing you to be more participative in their care. Children are usually more comfortable and less fearful when they are taken care of by someone familiar to them. We are here to help you do just that. Please ask questions, and let us know what you need.
- Please bring a comfort item for your child. Something that is soothing and familiar. Don't forget extra diapers and a spare change of clothes. We have juice, milk, soda pop and crackers. Please bring bottles, sippy cups and pacifiers if needed.
- Plan ahead for the recovery period. Some parents get a "special" toy or movie or book to save for after the procedure. Make sure you have the assistance you need to care for your child.
The day of the surgery:
- You and your child will check in to the center and be escorted to the pre-operative area. You will be allowed to stay with your child until they are taken back for surgery. Generally, we limit the number of visitors with the child to two people. We can certainly make exceptions for special circumstances but it has been our experience that it is in the best interest of the child to limit visitors and excitement during the pre-operative period.
- If you have other children, don't forget to make arrangements for their care on the day of surgery. We cannot allow siblings in the patient care area.
- Your child will be taken back to surgery by one of our operating room nurses. Remember, this is what we do. We see your child as "our child."
- After surgery your child will wake up in the recovery room. As soon as they are awake and ready, we will bring you to your child. The nurses will continue to monitor their progress and teach you on how to care for them at home.
- Each child wakes up from anesthesia differently. Some children may be crying, or appear frightened or angry. Others experience very little distress. Please remember what they need most is your calm presence and reassurance. The anesthesia staff and your surgeon will prescribe medicine for pain or other problems that sometimes occur. Our staff will be with you until your child is ready and we are sure that you are comfortable.
- If you would like to arrange to tour of the center before surgery, please call 402-484-6600 to make arrangements.
Please visit the Kids Health website (from Nemours) for other information that may be helpful.