The Family Teaching Program

Guiding Your Child Through Their Operative Experience

Children and mother talk to doctor at the Family Teaching Program at The Bristol-Myers Squibb Children's HospitalA visit to the hospital can be stressful for the entire family. Our team, including surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses and child life specialists will work with you to do everything possible to make your experience the best that it can be.

As a part of the Child Life Program, the Family Teaching Program offers preoperative teaching sessions to help prepare parents and their children for their upcoming surgery or procedure.

Who should attend the family teaching program?

All patients and their families having surgery or a procedure at the hospital are encouraged to attend a pre-operative teaching session.

What will we learn?

Children learn about their surgery and hospital stay through age-appropriate activities and medical play.

Child Life Specialists use hands-on teaching tools and medical equipment, to teach the child about the surgery, what is going to happen in the operating room recovery room.

They also prepare your child for going off to sleep before the surgery, and what will happen when they wake up. Teaching sessions allow time for any questions you may have.

Why should I attend a teaching session with my child?

Patients and parents who attend the sessions are much better prepared for what to expect. Knowing what will happen when they arrive at the hospital helps take away some of the fear of the unknown on the day of surgery. Each session is designed to specifically meet your child’s individual needs and ease their fears.

Parents have said that they felt more comfortable knowing what to expect on the day of surgery and were better able to prepare their children because they had answers to their questions. Many of the parents who have attended classes have recommended to other parents.

Where are the classes held?

The program offers in-person or virtual teaching sessions/tours based on the current visitation policies in the hospital. When you register, you will be contacted to schedule an appointment.

When are the teaching sessions held?

Classes are held during the week, either in-person or virtually, Monday-Friday 10 a.m. -2 p.m. by appointment.

Classes are designed to meet your child’s individual needs, so in order to ensure the best experience, please schedule an appointment on-line in advance.

How do I make an appointment for a class?

You may use this form to request an appointment.

Is there a fee for the class?

No, the classes are free of charge.

Contact us for more information about our Family Teaching Program or request an appointment.

Patient Stories

  • “The recovery was pretty challenging. But in my head, I was like, ‘I need to do this if I still want to play football in college.’ So I pushed through it, and in the end, it all came out amazing.”

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  • “I feel amazing. I can move. I can do so much more physical activity without feeling pain.”

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  • A 10-year-old girl collides with a bike, leading to emergency brain surgery.

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Patient Stories

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