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Children's Hospital at Dartmouth Hitchcock (CHad)
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Teenagers: 12-18 years

When to Prepare: Teens often appreciate being treated as active participants in decision-making. You and your teen can begin learning and preparing as soon as the decision to have the procedure is made.

Common Stressors for Adolescents: Loss of control; change in appearance; fear of surgery and its risks; fear of pain; fear of dying during surgery; fear of the unknown; concern with body image.

Ways You Can Help

  • Respecting your teen’s need for privacy and concern about body image is essential.
  • Talk honestly, openly and frequently about what is going to happen and let him/her know all questions are acceptable.
  • Teens are often uncomfortable admitting they do not understand explanations. It may be helpful for parents and healthcare providers to explain the procedure and treatment in several different ways.
  • Encourage your teen to bring music, books, hand-held video games or any other comfort items from home.
  • Have your teen read books about going to the hospital and/or having surgery or a procedure.

Supporting Your Teen as Anesthesia is Being Started (Induction)

  • Reading a book
  • Singing or listening to music
  • Telling jokes
  • Guided imagery or thinking of a “happy” or “vacation” place
  • Watching movies or playing video games
  • I-spy games
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