For teenagers

When you're having an operation

The Children’s Centre is made up of different areas for different things.

If you need to have an operation you will normally come to the Paediatric Day Unit (PDU).

A lot of operations are now done as Day Surgery which means you will go home the same day as you have your operation. This might not be right for your operation so you may have to stay overnight in our children’s inpatient ward.

When you arrive in the department, we might ask you to sit in the waiting area or you might go and sit on one of our trolleys, which is like a special bed. We will check your name and address, and some other details and then you will be weighed by one of the friendly nurses.  They will also check your observations.

Your temperature is taken by putting a small probe in your ear which beeps - it doesn’t hurt and is very quick.  Your heart rate is taken by the nurse holding your wrist and counting your pulse.  We use a special machine to take your blood pressure and use a cuff a bit like an arm band which we place on the top of your arm - it gives your arm a big hug and then slowly lets go.  Try and relax and all these observations will be taken quickly.  Someone from the play team will come and visit you, and prepare you for your operation if you would like them to. They are very experienced in providing a range of activities for teenagers. 

After this you will put on a theatre gown and we will put some medicated cream on your hands. This is because you will have a cannula inserted into in your hand ( a small plastic tube) and the cream should prevent any pain that you experience.

Next, we will ask you to take some paracetamol (Calpol) before you have your operation.

Whilst you wait for your operation, you can read a book or a magazine, or use a laptop or tablet, but hopefully you won’t have to wait too long.  When it is your turn, theatre staff will come and collect you on your trolley. Your parent/carer will walk alongside you should you want them to.  When you get to the anaesthetic  room, you will be given some medicine in your hand, and you will go to sleep whilst the operation is performed.  When you wake up, your parent/carer will be beside you and you will come back to the Day Unit on the trolley again.

You can have some water or squash, and we will give you biscuits to eat. If you have any pain anywhere you must tell us and we will try and give you some different painkillers.

Sometimes teenagers have to stay overnight until the next day. If this has to happen we will find you an inpatient bed. Your parent/carer can stay with you as well should you wish.

You will be able to go home once the doctors are happy that it is ok.