Preparing for Your Visit  :: Nationwide Children's Hospital

Preparing for Your Visit

We know coming to a hospital can be stressful, but we are here to help.  In this section, you will find everything that you need to know to prepare for your visit to Nationwide Children's Hospital.

For more information, click here to view our Patient/Visitor Resource Guides.


Be sure to bring these
If your child has a favorite toy, game or “familiar object,” bring it along. Also bring every day items, like a toothbrush or comb. Please label anything you bring for your child.

But leave these at home
Do not bring personal pajamas, hair dryers, radios or clocks. All patients must wear hospital-issued pajamas. If you do bring one of these items, please tell your nurse. S/he will check it for safety before you use it. Leave large amounts of cash or other valuable items at home as well.

Bring medications from home
When your child comes to the hospital, bring with you any medicine your child was taking at home. Please bring it in its original container, as your doctor or nurse may want to see the medicine bottles. This helps us make sure your child receives the right medicine.

For safety reasons, Nationwide Children's does not allow certain medicines from home to be used in the hospital. In most cases, you will be asked to take your child’s medicines home after the doctor or nurse examines the medicine bottles.


Frequently Asked Questions about Admitting and Registration

For more information, Patient Account Representatives can help you Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Call (614) 722-2055 or email us at Children'


To better serve you, Nationwide Children's has developed a secure, online pre-registration form for your submission before you arrive. The form requires you to provide some standard information. The form should only be completed if you have a scheduled admission (only) to Nationwide Children's. Please be prepared to present your most current insurance card when you come to the hospital. Key areas of information for the online form include:

  • Patient/child information.

  • Information about the attending physician (specialist at Nationwide Children's who will be performing the test/procedure).

  • Information about the physician who has recommended that your child see the specialist.

  • Information about your primary care physician (pediatrician or family doctor).

  • Appointment information/chief complaint.

  • Payment information/insurance card information (it is recommended that you verify your benefits prior to the completion of this form and always bring your card with you to the hospital).

  • Parent/legal guardian information.

  • Emergency contact information.

The pre-registration form is within a secure area of the web site which allows Nationwide Children's to protect all your personal information. To save you time, please complete Nationwide Children's online pre-registration form.

If you have any questions about the form or the online pre-registration process please contact Patient Access at (614) 722-2210.


While we welcome family and friends to visit your child in the hospital, your safety is always our top concern. When your child is admitted to Nationwide Children’s, you’ll be asked to create a Guest Code. All visitors to the hospital must provide the correct Guest Code to gain access to your child’s unit.

For the protection of our patients, callers from outside the hospital who wish to speak in detail about a patient’s condition will be required to provide the patient’s Care Code.

Learn more about our Guest Code and Care Code policies.


Depending on your child’s health care needs, s/he may receive care from one or more of the following health care team members:

Your private physician will see your child. S/he also may be seen by pediatric or surgical resident physicians training in specialized areas. The residents assist your private physician with your child’s care.

If you have questions about your child’s condition, your doctor can give you the most complete information. If you need information right away, try to talk with your doctor, or talk with the resident physician working with your child. Your child’s nurse also can give you this information.

Because this is a teaching hospital, you’ll meet medical students, residents and fellows. They work under the supervision of the attending physician. Medical students are going to school to become doctors. The best way for them to learn is by working at a hospital. Residents and fellows have finished medical school and are already doctors, but they are interested in receiving further training.

Nurses and their assistants provide most of your child’s around-the-clock care. They also help ease your child’s fears of being in the hospital, being sick and being away from family.

Nurses give individualized care for your child, talking with you and your child. The nurses also will teach you how to meet the needs of your child at the hospital and at home. The goal of nursing is to give your child the best care possible. We do this by having the nurses, physicians and other members of the health care team work directly with you.

Advance practice nurses or nurse practitioners are nurses with extra education and licensure that allow them to work with physicians to coordinate and plan care for your child. If your child needs special care after discharge from the hospital, a nurse from the Clinical Services and Care Coordination Department will help you with plans for equipment, supplies, home infusion therapy and other items.

Patient Care Assistants (PCA)
A patient care assistant (PCA) may work together with your nurse to provide care. The PCA may assist your child’s nurse by taking vital signs, bathing your child, performing finger sticks for lab tests, or providing other treatments.

While in the hospital, your child may need the help of physical, occupational, recreational, respiratory, speech, music and/or massage therapists. These therapists also will work with you to continue these therapies at home.

Clinical Social Workers
A clinical social worker, with specialized training in pediatrics, can provide emotional support and other assistance to you and your family. A social worker works with your team of doctors and nurses to help you manage the stressful aspects of your child’s illness, the challenges of the hospital stay, as well as other issues your family may face. S/he also can work with you to identify and use needed services in your area once your child goes home. You can ask a nurse to contact a social worker for you or you can request a social worker yourself by calling the Clinical Services and Care Coordination Department at (614) 722-6300.

Pharmacists work with your doctors and nurses to make sure your child receives the most appropriate medicines. They review all medication orders for your child. Clinical Pharmacists may talk with you and your child about complicated medicines.

Pastoral Care can provide you and your family with spiritual support. The Pastoral Care Department will provide assistance to those of all faiths. Trained chaplains are available 24 hours a day. You can reach one of them by calling (614) 722-5250. You also can contact them through the hospital operator at (614) 722-2000, or your nurse. The Children’s Chapel is open to people of all faiths, cultures and ages. It is located on the second floor of the main hospital. A security escort will be required after 8 p.m. Join us for one of our worship services:

Interfaith Worship – Sunday at 3:30 p.m.
Catholic Mass – Sunday and Wednesday at Noon

Child Life Specialists
Child Life Specialists address developmental needs of children, and can assist children in coping with their health care needs. They support your child’s growth and development through play activities and events created just for him/her. They even have activities to help your child prepare for a health care procedure.

Volunteers work throughout the hospital. A few of the areas are the Emergency Department, the Gift Shop, the Information Desk, patient units and as part of the Child Life program. Volunteers wear blue jackets, shirts or vests and a name badge.

School Teachers
For school-age children, the Columbus Public School system assigns a teacher to help your child with his/her schoolwork. If your child will be in the hospital longer than a week, ask your nurse to contact one of the teachers. They coordinate services with your child’s home school and will plan a program for your child’s learning needs.

Early intervention and preschool teachers are available for children up to 5 years of age. These teachers help identify children with developmental disabilities or delays, as well as children who may be at risk for delays. Early intervention and preschool teachers initiate services to help meet your child’s developmental needs. They also can help set up services in your home community. Teachers can be contacted at (614) 722-3635.

Clinical Dieticians
Clinical dieticians provide nutrition care based upon the specific age, development-related and medical-related needs of your child. A diet technician may also provide technical support.

Lactation Specialists
Children’s lactation program helps moms provide breast milk for their hospitalized infant. Hospital-grade electric breast pumps are available throughout the hospital to keep moms comfortable and to help maintain milk supply if an infant is not able to breastfeed directly. To contact a lactation specialist, call (614) 722-5228.



We work with most health insurance companies, and we will gladly bill your insurance company for you. We also can assist you with BCMH (Bureau for Children with Medical Handicaps), Medicaid and financial assistance applications. We accept debit cards, as well as Visa, MasterCard and Discover Card.

Many insurance companies ask that you tell them when your child is brought to the hospital. If you do not tell them, they may not pay your bill. That leaves you responsible for the entire bill. Each insurance plan is a little different from the next. Please check with your insurance company on their needs as soon as possible! We should verify your insurance benefits when your child is admitted. We also may estimate the amount of the bill you may owe. We do this so that when the bill arrives in the mail, it won’t be a surprise.

We ask that you make a payment plan as soon as you can. Simply come to the Patient Access Department between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., or call (614) 722-2055 between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. The Patient Access Department is located in the Main Lobby of the hospital just past the Information Desk.

Click on the links for a detailed listing of financial assistance options and frequently asked questions about billing.


Our financial department is very used to dealing with patients and families who come from a distance. They will be with you each step of the way. Here are a few things you can do to get started.
You need to call your insurance company to verify coverage of your child. The telephone number can be found on the backside of your insurance card. Please bring all of this information with you to your child's first visit. Listed below is some additional information for you to know and understand.
Commercial/Private Health Insurance

Call the phone number provided on the back of your insurance card for prior authorization and obtain the following information from the insurance representative:

  1. With whom am I speaking?

  2. What is the effective date of my policy?

  3. Is Nationwide Children's Hospital covered by my policy?

  4. What amount of coverage does my policy provide for this particular service?

  5. Is this service, if performed at Nationwide Children's Hospital, considered in- or out-of-network?

  6. Do I have a deductible?

  7. If YES, how much of it has been met?

  8. What will my co-pay be for each visit or for the inpatient admission?

  9. Has prior authorization for my child's service been obtained?

  10. Do I need to get a referral from my child's primary care physician for this service?

Medicaid/Healthy Start

As many Medicaid plans differ from county to county and state to state, coverage for out-of-network benefits differs as well. Medicaid recommends that you call the phone number on your Medicaid card to find out the details of your out-of-network coverage.

Your home hospital and Nationwide Children's should coordinate coverage for transportation, especially if he or she is on a ventilator at the time of transport. It is also a good idea to verify with your insurance company that transport to Nationwide Children's has been authorized prior to transport. Social work, case management, and discharge planning services at Children's will coordinate your child's return to your hometown hospital or to your home. Your insurance company must also authorize this transport.


If your child needs health insurance, but you can’t afford it, HealthyStart Plus has a plan. HealthyStart Plus is Franklin County’s no-cost health insurance plan for children under the age of 19. That’s right. There’s no cost to you. Even if you work, your family may qualify. This includes:

  • General health care

  • Dental care

  • Eye care

  • Hospital stays

  • Prescriptions

Coverage is for infants, toddlers, children and teens under 19 years of age. And the best part is that you can choose your doctors. That means your Close To HomeSM Physician Care Center doctor or Primary Care Center doctor at Children’s Hospital is included!

If you have questions, simply come to the Patient Access Department between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., or call (614) 722-2055 between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. The Patient Access Department is located in the Main Lobby of the hospital just past the Information Desk.


Nationwide Children's offers tours for our Surgery Center and Surgery Unit. The appointment includes a tour, a time to explore medical equipment and a question and answer time for your family. To request a tour, you may call us at (614) 722-2929 or complete our Surgery Tour Request Form.


You know your child better than anyone. That’s why we try to make it possible for one parent/guardian or their designee (over 18 years of age) to stay overnight in the patient’s room. Due to space limitations and the nature of the care we give, some units, like Intensive Care, do not have accommodations for overnight stay. A few sleeping rooms are available near the Intensive Care units for use. For safety and security reasons, we ask you not to sleep in any other areas, such as lobbies or hallways. Please check with the floor-specific nurse on the overnight policy for your child.

Sleeping space for one person typically is a cot or foldout chair. Linens and shower facilities are available for your use as well. In order to help us provide care, we ask that you be awake and dressed by 8 a.m. Each morning the cafeteria will give you a free beverage if you are wearing your parent badge.

The Ronald McDonald House

The Ronald McDonald House (614-227-3700), 711 E. Livingston Ave., can provide accommodations for families who live far from the hospital. These rooms are filled on a first-come basis. If the Ronald McDonald House has more requests than rooms, priority is given to families with critically ill children. Learn more about the Ronald McDonald House and its Charities and download the Ronald McDonald House flier. Take a Ronald McDonald House virtual tour. 

Area Hotels

If you need help making plans for an overnight stay, contact the Welcome Center at 1-800-619-9786. Please note that the Welcome Center is available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. EST.

You also can view our list of area hotels. The hotels listed are based on geographic region only, not as an endorsement of quality from Nationwide Children's. Links are included to each hotel's website, and distance from the hospital is also listed. View our list of area hotels.


You may call at any time to talk to a nurse about your child’s care or condition. If you call the hospital operator at (614) 722-2000 or the Information Desk at (614) 722-2001, they can help. Friends and family may call these numbers to leave a message for you or your child.

For the protection of our patients, callers from outside the hospital who wish to speak in detail about a patient’s condition will be required to provide the patient’s Care Code.


Welcome Center Services

Nationwide Children's Hospital Welcome Center Services strives to eliminate access barriers to the hospital and the city of Columbus by providing families with information regarding available value added resources.  Welcome Center Services is one of the only patient programs of its kind where the Sleep Well, Get Well program is made available to our patients traveling from outside of central Ohio at least two hours away, out of state, and internationally.  Through Sleep Well, Get Well, local hotels, in support of Nationwide Children's mission offer our families traveling a free hotel stay the night before any inpatient or outpatient procedure (pending availability).  We understand that in order to prepare for a hospital procedure or visit, getting a good night's rest the night before, for both you and your child, is essential.


-Marriott "Sleep Well, Get Well" program

  • Marriott offers special discounts to families outside of the service areas

-Ronald McDonald House Advance Placement Available

  • Advance placement rooms are limited

-Insurance Navigation

  • Resolve insurance issues, and maximize coverage prior to their arrival.  See our Pre-Arrival Checklist, and if you still have questions about your insurance coverage call the Welcome Center Services Coordinator at (614)355-9865.

-Greeter Concierge Service

  • Patient Transport staff will greet families and escort them to their destination if requested

-International Charity Program

  • Coordinate patient information for Charity committee's consideration and review

Office Hours

Monday-Friday: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Referral Process

A patient can call the Welcome Center Services family liaison at 1(800) 792-8401, extension 59866, Monday through Friday. Staff can determine whether the family qualifies for the Marriott Program or help assist them with other services. Welcome Center Services would prefer to receive referrals prior to a family's arrival. Same day hotel requests are very limited, however we can still offer other alternatives.


Cards, letters, flowers and other gifts are welcomed. There are limits on some units however. Please ask your child’s nurse, and let friends and family members know what your child can and cannot receive. Latex (rubber) balloons are not allowed in the hospital, as they are unsafe for children. Mylar balloons are acceptable.

Mail to patients should be addressed as follows:
Child’s Full Name
Room Number
Nationwide Children’s Hospital
700 Children’s Drive
Columbus, Ohio 43205

Also available is our online greeting card service. This service makes it easy for family and friends to brighten up their loved one's room, not to mention his or her spirits, with a free personalized greeting card. Just follow a few simple steps to customize a card. Once submitted, it will be e-mailed directly to Nationwide Children's print shop. Once each morning, a hospital volunteer will hand deliver the card to the patient's room. It's simple and fun, and most importantly, loved ones can express just how much they care. Cards will be printed once a day, Monday through Friday, at 9 a.m. Card delivery cannot be guaranteed without the patient's full name. If the patient has been discharged, please provide a forwarding address and the card will be mailed to the recipient.

Nationwide Children's also has an online gift shop. Gifts can be ordered for hospitalized patients will be delivered the same day (if ordered by 2 p.m., Monday through Friday). Children’s logo wear items also are available. Customers can even request items be shipped to any destination.


Nationwide Children's Gift Shop sells toys, stuffed animals, Mylar balloons, candy, cards, magazines and newspapers. They may even have your child's favorite cartoon character. They offer a personal shopper service if your purchase is $30 or above, and will deliver the gift right to the patient's room. Gift Certificates $5 incriments are also sold; good for food, parking and gifts.

Please call: 61.722.4973 for customer service (see hours below - EST)

The Gift Ship is open:
Monday - Friday: 9:00 am - 8:00 pm
Saturday: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Sunday: 12:00 noon - 5:00 pm
Holidays: Closed


To promote good health and maintain a healthy environment, Nationwide Children’s is smoke-free as of 10/1/07. Smoking cessation products are also available in the Gift Shop for purchase.


Nationwide Children’s Hospital prohibits all weapons, including concealed firearms, on all of its properties, including Nationwide Children’s main campus and its satellite locations. Should you arrive at any of Nationwide Children’s facilities in possession of a firearm, lock it in the manner required by law in your motor vehicle. If you do not have a motor vehicle available, or should you not be able to properly secure your firearms in a motor vehicle, call Security at (614) 722-2130. Arrangements will be made to properly store your firearm, and it will be returned to you when you leave the hospital’s property.


Click on the links for detailed maps and directions and parking information for Nationwide Children’s main campus and its satellite locations.


As a patient of Nationwide Children’s Hospital, I and my parents/family/guardian/visitors have these rights and responsibilities:

I Have the Right to...

  • Be identified correctly and called by name.

  • Be given careful evaluation, and courteous, timely treatment.

  • Know the names of those who care for me, and what they do.

  • Have my family present whenever possible.

  • Be free from pain as much as possible.

  • Cry and make noise, or object to anything that hurts me.

  • Have a clean and safe environment.

  • Be without restraint unless absolutely necessary.

  • Have as normal a schedule as possible – uninterrupted sleep, quiet time, playroom, school and the comfort of my family.

  • Have a schedule for my procedures that does not keep me hungry or thirsty any longer than necessary.

  • Be told what is happening to me, and to have my questions answered in words that I can understand.

  • Make choices about my care whenever possible.

  • Have privacy and confidentiality about my illness.

  • Have an interpreter for my family whenever needed.

  • Have access to pastoral care or other spiritual choices.

  • Have my individual needs respected.

  • Have my expectations met and my complaints heard and resolved.

I Have the Responsibility to...

  • Wear Nationwide Children’s Hospital identification at all times.

  • Give information about my health.

  • Follow my treatment and tell if I have pain or changes in my condition.

  • Tell those who care for me when I do not understand my care or what is expected of me.

  • Know that if I refuse treatment, the outcome is my responsibility.

  • Follow Nationwide Children’s Hospital rules for the consideration of other patients, respect the property of others, help control noise and follow the smoking policy.


Who will be affected by this policy?

  • The healthy beverage changes apply to all patients, families, visitors and staff.

Why is the hospital making these changes?

  • To promote the health and well-being of our patients, families and staff, we will not sell or offer sugar-sweetened beverages that have no nutritional value. As one of the nation’s leading pediatric health care and research institutes, we are committed to addressing the epidemic of childhood obesity and creating and supporting a healthy work environment for employees.

What areas are affected?

  • The cafeteria, food court, Koko’s, Subway, gift shops, patient food service, catering, on- and off-site vending machines, and Jerzy’s are all affected.

Are high-calorie coffee drinks still offered at Clementine's Café and can I still get sugar for my coffee?

  • Yes, sugar is available for coffee. The hospital made some minor changes to beverages sold at Clementine’s Cafe, for example, a few of the highest-calorie drinks were eliminated and the extra-large cup size is no longer available.

What types of beverages are available under this new policy?

  • Water, milk, pure fruit juices and diet sodas are all healthier alternatives to sugar-sweetened drinks. The hospital expanded the selection of these beverages.

What if I still want a regular soda or other sugar-sweetened drink?

  • Employees, patients and families are able to bring in their own sugar-sweetened beverages, but the hospital will not offer or sell those beverages.

What if a patient needs regular soda for a medical reason?

  • Regular Coke and Sprite will be available for patients who meet certain criteria. The hospital’s nurses and physicians will be able to assist with obtaining these items.


El hospital proporciona intérpretes médicos para los niños, padres o tutores con déficit auditivo o con límite de habilidad en el idioma Inglés. Por favor comunique al personal médico que necesita un intérprete para comunicarse y ellos le ayudarán.

Para la ayuda financiera, illame por favor (614) 722-2055.

Preparing for Surgery


Your child's outpatient surgery may be scheduled at either the Children's Surgery Center or the Outpatient Surgery area, both located on Children’s main campus. Where your child's surgery takes place is determined by several factors including your child's surgeon and the specific procedure your child is having. Expect a call from our staff the day before your scheduled surgery to confirm the location, time and other important information. The staff will let you know when to arrive and how long you should plan to be here. If someone from Children's has not contacted you by 4 p.m. the day before your child's scheduled surgery date (by Friday for Monday surgeries), please call Children's Surgery Center at (614) 722-2920 or Children's Outpatient Surgery at (614) 722-5200.


General Information
Children's Outpatient Surgery     (614) 722-5200
Children's Surgery Center          (614) 722-2920

Billing Information
Children's Outpatient Surgery     (614) 722-2055
Children's Surgery Center          (614) 722-2055

Other Information
Pre-Admission Testing                (614) 722-3850
Welcome Walk Appointments      (614) 722-2929


It is very important to be honest with children of any age and to answer any questions they may have.

Children 3 and under

At this age children generally cannot understand why they need surgery or why they are going to the hospital.  At this age they are concerned with having a change in their environment and being away from family and their home.  Toddlers may have trouble coping with changes in routine, such as eating sleeping and toileting.

Suggestions:  You or a family member can help your child by being with them at the hospital.  It is important to bring familiar items from home to the hospital, such as a favorite stuffed animal, blanket or pillow.

Children 3-6 years

Children at this age may view the hospital as punishment, may have feelings of loss of control and fear of the unknown.

Suggestions: Reassure your child that he/she has not done anything wrong.  Make sure you give your child simple, honest and developmentally appropriate explanations.  At this age it is also important to bring a comfort item from home.

Children 7-12 years

At this age children may fear painful procedure and may also believe that hospitalization and procedures are a form of punishment.  At this age children may feel a loss of control and a lack of independence.

Suggestions: Provide your child with as much information as you can.  Ask staff, whenever possible, to let your child know what is going to happen and provide step by step information during procedures or environmental changes etc.  To help your child gain control, give them choices when possible.

Adolescents 12 and up

At this age adolescents are concerns about having loss of control, being separated from peers and may be self-conscious.

Suggestions: Respect your child’s privacy whenever possible.  Encourage your child to ask questions and make sure they are involved in their medical care.  Support social interactions with peers.

Parents and Caregivers

The hospital is stressful for the whole family.  Make sure you have support where needed and get questions answered.  Your feeling of unknown, anxiety and fear can reflect on your child.  Staff is always willing to help where needed to make sure you and your child have the best experience possible.


When your child is having a procedure that requires general anesthesia or sedation, it's important to follow the instructions in the video below:

What is anesthesia?
Anesthesia gives a person freedom from pain during surgery. There are two types of anesthesia. A "general" anesthetic is a deep sleep caused by drugs given to the whole body. A "local" anesthetic just numbs a particular part of the body.

Who gives anesthesia?
All general anesthetics are given by members of the Anesthesia Department. The permanent staff consists of physicians (anesthesiologists) specializing in anesthesia for children, and Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA), who act under the direct supervision of the anesthesiologists. In addition, resident physicians and registered nurses rotate through the department while receiving direct instruction in pediatric anesthesia.

Will my child get a shot before surgery?
Probably not. At the present time, sedation (medicine for relaxation) is usually given before surgery in the form of a liquid to swallow, rather than by a shot or injection; however, there are some exceptions.

How is the anesthesia given?
Anesthesia is given to your child by asking them to inhale non-irritating medicated air through a mask placed near his or her nose and mouth. This is called “induction.” Your child may choose a "flavor" (scent) for the mask. After three or four minutes, your child will be asleep. We have found that larger children or teenagers generally prefer to have the anesthesia (called sodium pentothal) injected in their hand or arm, while smaller children do well with the inhaled air. When appropriate, we try to accommodate any patient who has a strong preference for one type of anesthesia over the other.

Where does my child wake up?
Your child will wake from surgery in the Main Recovery Room of Children's Hospital or the Surgery Center Recovery Room, depending on where surgery has been scheduled. In either area, nurses who are trained in this phase of surgery will provide specialized care. An anesthesiologist is always available. As soon as your child is awake, a nurse will come get you.

Will my child be nauseated afterward? Are there any problems I should expect?
A small percentage of patients will be nauseated or vomit after surgery. Children having eye surgery or tonsillectomies are more prone to have this problem. Medication is available if the nausea persists.

If a breathing tube was inserted in your child’s throat during surgery, s/he may have a sore throat or hoarseness for a few days. Intravenous lines are placed in almost all children after they are asleep, and there may be a puncture mark or bruise where the needle was removed.

Will I be able to talk with an anesthesiologist?
Yes. An anesthesiologist reviews the pre-operative assessment with you prior to surgery, discusses the anesthesia and answers any of your questions. If you have concerns about your child's anesthesia and would like to speak to an anesthesiologist prior to the day of surgery, you may contact the Children's Surgery Center at (614) 722-2920 or Children's Pre-Admission Testing at (614) 722-3850.


When you arrive, our staff will ask you to complete a brief medical history. A few simple lab tests may be performed if not previously completed. An anesthesiologist will meet with you to discuss anesthesia and answer any questions.

Pre-surgery instructions
To prepare for your child's surgery, please review the following pre-surgery checklist.

  • Notify your surgeon if your child develops either a chest cold or fever; has been treated for asthma, bronchitis or pneumonia in the past six weeks; or has been exposed to a contagious disease such as measles, chicken pox or mumps within three weeks before the surgery date. Based on the information you provide, you will then be advised whether or not to bring your child to the hospital for the scheduled surgery.

  • Your child will be restricted on what s/he eats or drinks prior to surgery. Specific instructions will be given on the day prior to the scheduled surgery. If food, gum or any beverage other than water, apple juice or breast milk is given to your child within four hours of surgery, the operation may be canceled.

  • A parent or legal guardian must accompany the patient to the Surgery Center or Children's Outpatient Surgery area on the day of surgery. Your proof of insurance must be presented at the time of admission.

  • Please bring all medical insurance information, such as medical cards and completed insurance forms. You are responsible for being aware of, and in compliance with, your insurance policy requirements and/or regulations.

  • We are eager to help you receive your maximum allowable benefits, and will be happy to process your insurance claim for you. However, we may need your assistance to communicate information to your insurance company. If you have any questions or uncertainty regarding insurance coverage or billing practices, please call Children’s Outpatient Surgery Billing at (614) 722-2550 or Children’s Surgery Center Billing at (614) 722-2923.

  • Before and after surgery, with clearance from the Children's staff, two adults may visit your child.

  • Children under the age of 12 may not visit. Please make child care arrangements for your other children under 12 years of age. If your child is admitted, young children may be allowed to visit.

  • Young adults, age 18 or older, scheduled for outpatient surgery must arrange for a designated driver to take them home after surgery.

  • We encourage you to bring your child’s favorite stuffed animal or blanket to help make the surroundings a bit more familiar. Please label these items with your child's name.


Your child will recover under the care of specially trained nurses. The anesthesiologist will continue to monitor your child's condition. If you child is having any pain after surgery, the anesthesiologist will decide on pain medication. This may include intramuscular (given by shot) and intravenous (given through the IV) pain relievers or a nerve block with a long-acting local anesthetic. As soon as your child is awake, he or she will be brought back to you. The nurses will answer any questions and give you step-by-step verbal and written instructions as ordered by your surgeon.

If you have any difficulty after you arrive home, call your surgeon, Children's Surgery Center or Children's Outpatient Surgery.

Behavioral changes after surgery
Children handle the hospital experience in a variety of ways. These are some things that your child may or may not experience:

  • Your child’s behavior may regress, or look like behavior from an earlier age.

  • Some children may have trouble with separation and become more dependent on adults.

  • Sleeping and eating patterns may change. Remember, these changes are common and temporary. If you have concerns, please talk to your doctor.


Nationwide Children's has developed a family-oriented surgery brochure. Designed for the family who has a child scheduled for surgery, this brochure will answer many of your questions, provide age-appropriate tips for your child, and give driving directions and contact information. In the back pocket of the surgery brochure we’ve included a second brochure created especially for your child. It explains in simple, easy-to-understand language what the child will experience, and includes information about our Surgery Tour, which is designed to put both patients and parents at ease. For a copy of the surgery brochure, call (614) 722-2929. You may also request a Surgery Tour.

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Nationwide Children's Hospital
700 Children's Drive Columbus, Ohio 43205 614.722.2000