Child Life Pre-Admission Program
California Pacific Medical Center invites children undergoing surgery and their families to use our Pediatric Pre-Admission Program. Our child life specialist lead pre-admission tours and are available for phone consults to help you and your child prepare for surgery.
The free pre-admission tour helps reduce anxiety associated with surgery and familiarize families with the hospital. This tour is appropriate for children ages 3 and above. For younger patients, call 415-600-6278 if you would like a phone consultation. Siblings are welcome. Please let your specialist know who you are bringing along for the tour at the time of scheduling so they may provide learning materials for them as well.
Tour registration is required in advance. We suggest you call two weeks prior to your child’s surgery, if possible, to ensure availability. Registration must be completed by 5:00p.m. the Friday prior to the program.
During the interactive session children and families can:
- Engage in medical play to familiarize themselves with the hospital experience
- Tour the surgery unit and recovery room (when available)
- Ask questions to help reduce fear and anxiety
Tours are at California Pacific's Woman and Children's Center, located at 3700 California Street in San Francisco. From the main hospital lobby, take elevator “A” to the third floor and go to the “Family Waiting Room” across the hall. We begin our tour from there.
Contacting Child Life
We are here for you! Have a question? Not sure if the tour is right for your child or not? Want some tips on how to answer your child’s questions? Give us a call. Calls will be returned WEDNESDAY-FRIDAY when the outpatient child life specialist is on duty. Please feel free leave a message at any time and your call will be returned on the next scheduled work day.
For medical related questions, please contact the office of the doctor that scheduled your child’s surgery.
Tips from the Child Life Specialist
Many times families cannot make it to the hospital prior to surgery. Our Child Life team offers the following tips to help your child.
- Do your best to remain calm throughout the days prior and the day of surgery. Often, a calm parent is the best way to help calm and reassure children.
- Be honest, but developmentally appropriate. Answer your child’s questions clearly and avoid making promises about aspects of your child’s care that may be unknown.
- Bring your child’s favorite blanket or toy to help him or her feel safe.
- Read your child a story about a trip to the hospital (many books like this are available at your public library).
- Reassure your child that you will be with him or her as much as possible throughout the day.
- Talk about the experience with your child. See if there are any questions or unresolved anxiety. (For example: Does your child think he or she may have to return to the hospital?)
- He or she may use play to communicate rather than words. Try having interactive play about the hospital.
- Keep a normal routine. A structured, consistent environment goes a long way in reducing anxiety in children
About Pediatrics at California Pacific Medical Center
California Pacific Medical Center, a San Francisco hospital that is part of the Sutter Health network, offers pediatric care to babies, young children, and adolescents to age 18 through our network of primary and specialty care pediatricians. Our doctors provide care at clinics throughout the Bay Area and at our hospital inpatient units.
San Francisco, CA 94118
Pediatric hospital tours occur every Wednesday night at 6 p.m. by appointment. Call for an appointment. Calls are returned Wednesday - Friday.