Teddy Bear Care

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 4 to 12-years-old and their caregivers (tours for families with children younger or older may be possible so please ask).

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, as well as to answer any questions you, the parent or caregiver, may have. The Teddy Bear Care Pre-Admission Tour Program is run by Gundersen's Certified Child Life Specialists (CCLS) and is offered for children, ages 4-12, and their parents. Tours for families with children younger or older are also available. 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, ice pack, anesthesia mask).
  • Time for parents and children to ask questions about upcoming surgery.
  • Children will receive a teddy bear, a certificate saying they completed the program and an anesthesia mask to play with to help prepare them for their upcoming surgery.

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.

  • Tours for 4- to 5-year-olds should be scheduled four days before their surgery.
  • 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 4 p.m. Tours last between 10-15 minutes. If your child has a preoperative appointment with their surgeon before the day of surgery, you may be able to schedule a tour time before or after that appointment.

Love + Medicine

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

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