Prepare for Your Child's Procedure

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.

Visitor policy

For clinic visits and on the day of surgery, only 1 adult can be with your child. If your child stays overnight at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, 1 parent or guardian is allowed to visit at a time. You may select 2 approved visitors, who can swap out every 24 hours.

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.

Pre-procedure testing

Before your child can have certain procedures, including any with general anesthesia, they must be tested for COVID-19. 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 is not tested or if the result is not available on the day of the procedure, the procedure may be postponed until we can get a result. 

See list of testing locations

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.