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Teddy Bear Care Pre-Surgery Tours

Is your child having surgery soon? Gundersen Health System's Teddy Bear Care Pre-Admission Tour Program introduces your child to the sights and sounds of the hospital before he or she comes in for surgery. The goal of the program is to decrease anxiety and increase your child's understanding about what will happen the day of surgery.

The Teddy Bear Care Program is run by our certified Child Life Specialists and is provided for children 2 to 12-years-old and their caregivers (tours for families with children older may be possible so please ask).

Watch the videos

Watch the videos to find out what to expect when your child comes in for surgery. Choose the location your child will be having surgery to learn more:

What is the Teddy Bear Care Program?

Gundersen Health System's Teddy Bear Care Program is a good way to introduce children and their families to the unfamiliar sights and sounds of the hospital before they come in for surgery. The goal of this program is to decrease anxiety and increase your child's understanding about what will happen the day of surgery. We also can answer questions about the routine from pre-op to recovery.

The Teddy Bear Care Pre-Admission Tour Program is run by Gundersen's Certified Child Life Specialists (CCLS) and is recommended for children 2-12 years old, but available for any age. There is no cost for this program.

What is included in the program?

  • Opportunity to see pictures of the surgery area, including pre-op, the operating room and recovery room. If your child will be staying overnight after surgery, a tour of the Pediatrics Unit in the hospital may be available.
  • Opportunity to see medical equipment that will be used on the day of surgery (e.g., pulse oximeter, anesthesia mask).
  • Time for parents and children to ask questions about upcoming surgery.
  • Children will receive a teddy bear and a certificate saying they completed the program.

When should I schedule a tour for my child?

Tours should not be scheduled too far in advance. It's important to give your child time to think about the information they are given and to ask questions, but you don't want to create unnecessary worry. The number of days in advance that a tour should be scheduled is based off your child's age. Tours for 2 to 5-year-olds should be scheduled two to five days in advance, each year being an additional day in advance. Tours for 6- to 12- year-olds should be scheduled up to a week before their surgery.

Tours are scheduled on an individual basis and are available Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tours last about 20 - 30 minutes.

Schedule a tour

Fill out the form below to begin the process of scheduling a Teddy Bear Care pre-surgery tour.

Love + Medicine

Every day, Gundersen Health System staff deliver great medicine plus a little something extra—we call it Love + Medicine.

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