Your Child is in Good Hands
Our mission is to provide the highest quality, compassionate care tailored to your child and your family. Your child is in good hands.
The continued presence of COVID-19 in our community requires us to take additional precautions. Below, you'll find what you need to know ahead of your visit about masks, our visitor policy, and testing before your child's procedure.
The operating rooms in the Children's Hospital in Nashville are for the youngest, sickest children and those needing the most-complex surgeries. If your surgery is planned in one of our outpatient surgery centers in Murfreesboro or Spring Hill, rest assured that those centers have the same safety measures in place. Your child will be cared for by expert, dedicated pediatric specialists just as they would in our Nashville hospital.
Masks Are Required
Everyone in Vanderbilt’s hospitals and clinics must wear masks. We know that wearing masks can be hard for some children; if you are concerned about your child’s ability wear a mask, please bring masks for you and your child. Children under age 2 do not have to wear masks.
On the day of surgery, 2 adults can be with your child, with only 1 at the bedside at a time. If your child stays overnight at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, you will be asked to identify 2 parent-approved visitors. See the latest visitor policy.
Screening for COVID-19
When you arrive, we will screen you and your child before you enter the hospital or clinic. We will check your temperature and ask questions about symptoms you or your child may have had. If you pass the screening, we will give you a sticker that must be worn at all times.
Depending on your situation, your child may need to be tested for COVID-19 before certain procedures, including any with general anesthesia.
Your child doesn't need to be tested for COVID-19 before a procedure with anesthesia if all of these are true:
- They've been vaccinated against COVID-19. (Children 12 and older are now eligible).
- It's been 14 days since their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine or a single dose of the J&J vaccine.
- You can show proof of this with their CDC vaccine card.
However, even if your child meets these requirements, they need to be tested if any of these are true:
- Your child has a weak immune system.
- Your child is having a procedure done through the mouth, throat or nose.
- Your child will be admitted to the hospital (we require COVID-19 testing of ALL patients who are admitted).
All other patients must have a COVID-19 test. If you have any questions about whether you child must be tested, please ask your doctor or nurse.
This testing must be done 48-72 hours before your child's procedure. This is more important than ever because of the volume of testing that is currently being done. If your child isn't tested or if the result isn't available on the day of the procedure, the procedure may be postponed until we can get a result.
NOTE: To avoid delays or the need for another test, please have your child get a COVID-19 test at a Vanderbilt Health location before they come in for their procedure. If you must go to a non-Vanderbilt test center, make sure your child gets a PCR test from the nose or mouth. We won't accept any other test results, including results from at-home, antigen, and blood tests.
Next steps based on test result
If your child is tested at a Vanderbilt Health location:
- the result will show up in your child’s My Health at Vanderbilt account (if your child has an account).
- If the test is negative (does NOT show that your child has COVID-19), the procedure will go on as planned.
- If the test is positive (shows that your child does have COVID-19) and comes in during regular business hours, we will call you. The person doing the procedure will decide if it can go on as planned or needs to be postponed.
- If the result is positive and comes in after hours or on a weekend, you can call the Vanderbilt COVID hotline at (888) 312-0847 and ask for a nurse to notify the provider on call for next steps.
If you can’t come to one of our locations for testing:
- ask your pediatrician, visit the state Department of Health website, or call your local health department to find a site that will test asymptomatic patients (patients with no symptoms).
- bring your test result with you on the day of your procedure. You also may have the result faxed to the operating room at (615) 936-7060.
Isolation between testing and procedure
Wherever your child is tested, you and your child must isolate yourselves until your child has the procedure.
This means that both of you must:
- avoid people outside the household
- stay home as much as possible
- wear a mask in public
For your safety, your child’s safety, and the safety of other patients, visitors, and staff, we have put in place several of practices to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
These include the following:
- On the day of your child’s surgery, only 1 caregiver may be with your child. This person must be screened before entering and may not enter if they have symptoms.
- Everyone over 2 years of age who enters a Vanderbilt Health location must wear a mask.
- During the procedure, you must be available by phone or through your My Health at Vanderbilt account for the care team to communicate with you.