At the Tidwell Procedure Center at CHOC Children’s Hospital, we are dedicated to providing our patients and their families with compassionate care that focuses on our patients’ needs both medically and emotionally. Patients’ families, friends and immediate caregivers can be a source of strength and comfort while preparing for and recovering from surgery. Although family members and friends have the very best of intentions when visiting a patient in the hospital, too many visitors can be overwhelming for patients. Out of our years of experience working with patients and their families, we have established the following visitor guidelines for our patients undergoing surgery at CHOC.
- Caregivers should park at the main entrance of the hospital. Valet service is available. Learn more about parking at CHOC.
- A maximum of four visitors (including parents and legal guardians) are allowed in the preoperative unit and Procedure Center lobby.
- Non-parent visitors (those who are not legal guardians) may be asked to leave the preoperative room so the surgical team can prepare the child for the procedure.
- One parent or guardian should remain in the preoperative area at all times while the child is preparing for surgery.
- Once in surgery, up to four visitors (including the patients’ parents or legal guardians) may wait in the Procedure Center lobby. Please note that absolutely no food or drinks are allowed in the lobby. Caregivers can take a well-deserved break to get something to eat or drink in our cafeteria. The preoperative unit’s front desk can issue caregivers pagers to wear while in the cafeteria in the case that we need to be in contact during the procedure.
- After surgery, only parents or legal guardians will be allowed to visit the patient in the recovery room. All other visitors must wait to see the child once he or she is admitted to an inpatient unit to spend the night or back in the preoperative unit to be discharged home.
- When patients are recovering from surgery—whether they are in the recovery unit, inpatient unit or back in the preoperative unit—it is natural to want to wake them to see how they are feeling. It is very important that patients get as much rest as possible after their procedure. Our nurses and doctors closely monitor all patients and will wake them when it is necessary. Surgery and the effects of anesthesia can be very overwhelming. Patients’ family and friends need to make sure to keep the environment calm with as few visitors, noises and distractions as possible.
We kindly ask that families make alternate care plans for other children the day of surgery for a number of reasons. First and foremost, the child who is having surgery will require his or her parents’ or guardians’ full attention. The patient may need to be comforted during preoperative procedures and while recovering after surgery. Caregivers need to be able to give doctors and nurses their full attention, as they will be learning a lot of information about the surgery and how to care for the child once at home. In addition, our rooms have limited space and there are several areas where children are not allowed for safety reasons.
If there is anyone who is not legally allowed to visit the patient while he or she is in the hospital, please make sure to bring supporting documentation so we may make appropriate accommodations. Nonparental legal guardians must bring supporting legal documentation with them the day of surgery. Please contact our social services department at (714) 509-4380 with any questions about necessary documentation.