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