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Children's Hospital at Dartmouth Hitchcock (CHad)
In This Section

Team Roles

Parents | Child Life Specialist | Pediatric Perioperative Nurse | Anesthesiologist | Nurse Anesthetist | Operating Room Nurse | Surgeon

The Parent

You know your child best and are the greatest source of information for the healthcare team in determining how to best support your child through his or her test or procedure.

Please inform your child's healthcare team of previous sedation experiences and how well you and your child were able to cope with the experiences.

The Child Life Specialist

Child Life Specialist helping a child

A child life specialist is a member of the Pediatric Perioperative team who specializes in normal human growth and development, and the impact that illness, injury, disability, and hospitalization have on this process.

The child life specialist will work with you and your child to assess needs, provide interventions, promote coping, provide preparation, and give emotional support, as well as:

  • Help your child understand what is happening and who everyone is
  • Answer some of your child's questions and talk to your child about falling asleep
  • Go with your child to the operating room if he or she would like them to
  • Play and have fun things for your child to do while waiting for surgery

Pediatric Perioperative Nurse

The pediatric perioperative nurse will call your family the day before your child’s scheduled appointment (unless you have a Monday appointment, in which case you will receive a phone call on the Friday before). If you are concerned that you may not be available by telephone during that time, please call us at (603) 650-4215. This is important to ensure your child's appointment is not delayed or cancelled.

When the nurse calls, he or she will talk with you about:

  • Guidelines for eating and drinking: Your child needs to have an empty stomach so that he or she can receive sedation
  • Your child's current health, any medications he or she takes routinely, or as needed
  • Special information related to the specific surgery that is scheduled
  • Any questions you may have related to your child's health and his or her surgical visit

When you and your child come to the Pediatric Perioperative Unit, you will meet your pediatric perioperative nurse and go over paperwork and what to expect for the remainder of your surgical visit. The nurse will also obtain your child's temperature, pulse, oxygen level, and weight.

The Anesthesiologist

Anesthesiologists are doctors who specialize in providing medication that causes patients to become drowsy or fall asleep. This process allows patients to go through tests or procedures that would otherwise be too stressful or painful to go through without receiving medication.

An anesthesiologist is an expert in assessing which medications best match the procedure your child is having. An anesthesiologist is also also an expert at maintaining safety and managing any type of emergency that may arise during a procedure.

The Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist

A certified registered nurse anesthetist is an advanced practice nurse who has acquired additional education and training to administer anesthesia. A CRNA may be a member of your child's anesthesia team. Like the anesthesiologist, this person is specialized in providing medication that causes patients to become drowsy or fall asleep.

The Operating Room Nurse

The Operating Room (OR) Nurse will come and say "hello." He or she will make your child comfortable upon arriving at the OR suite and will take care of your child while he or she is in the operating room.

The Surgeon

The surgeon is the doctor who will be doing your child's surgery. He or she can answer your questions about the surgery and post-op care.

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