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Learn more about our exciting hospital expansion by visiting
Note that during this expansion, routes to Packard Childrens Hospital and our outpatient clinics in Palo Alto have changed.

Packard Kids ConnectionThe information provided on the Packard Kids Connection Web site is intended as an introduction to Lucile Packard Childrens Hospital. Our goal is to provide enough information to educate and empower children about their upcoming hospital experience without overwhelming them with details. In every case, the information given to you or your child directly from your health care provider should be followed over any information provided on the Packard Kids Connection Web site. If you have any questions, call your health care provider.
Here are some additional details that will help prepare your child for a test or treatment and optimize his or her hospital stay.




Helping Your Child

As a parent, you play the central role in preparing and supporting your child before, during and after a test or treatment. Experts from Packard Childrens Department of Child Life have made supporting children during medical care their specialty, helping them understand what to expect, how to relax and other details. Our child life specialists are readily available to provide parents with ideas, language suggestions or educational materials that can help you prepare and support your child. Child life specialists may be reached by calling (650) 497-8336 between 8 am and 5:30 pm.




Packing Tips

Storage space in your childs hospital room is very limited. We encourage you to bring your childs favorite items, especially those that provide comfort or distraction. At the same time we ask you to please be selective. A large assortment of toys, games, books, magazines, videos, art and craft supplies and other activities are available right here in the hospital for your convenience.





Always ask your nurse for instructions about having visitors. And, very importantly, always ask your child for his or her preference. Our child life specialists and social workers strongly recommend letting your child make decisions about whether or not theyd like to have visitors. Encourage them to trust their feelings, remind them that its okay to say no if they just arent feeling up to visiting, and support their decision.




Imaging Studies

Your childs health care provider will give you specific instructions on when your child should stop eating or drinking before an x-ray, MRI, CT or other radiological study. Four hours is considered the minimum, but your childs doctor may give different instructions that are designed just for your child. It is important for your childs safety that you follow your doctors instructions carefully.



Anesthesia and Presurgery Information

Every child who comes to Lucile Packard Childrens Hospital for surgery will have an orientation with the Pre-Anesthesia Assessment Center (PAAC). Nurse practitioners at the Center are available before or after this appointment to answer any questions that may come up about your childs procedure. If you would like to speak with one of the nurse practitioners for anesthesia or nurse coordinators for recovery, please call (650) 736-7359. Someone is available to take your call from 7:30 am to 6:30 pm.


Lucile Packard Childrens Hospital also provides an online education program for parents called EmmiŽ to help you understand anesthesia choices and let you know what to expect on the day of your childs procedure. You can view the Emmi program as many times as you like. When you are ready, visit the Packard Children's Emmi Web page to get started.




Pain Management

Video The Pain Go Away video helps improve patients' pain management, and focuses on the use of patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) pumps. It was created by a team of Packard Children's Hospital health care providers and families.






A Teaching Hospital

Lucile Packard Childrens Hospital is a teaching hospital through its partnership with the Stanford University School of Medicine. There may be times when, instead of one doctor visiting your child, two or more people may come to the room. You and your child are encouraged to inquire about everyone who comes to your room and to ask for identification. It may also be helpful to know the titles that represent someones level of learning in a teaching hospital:

  • Medical student: A person in medical school pursuing the four-year course of training, study and practice required to earn a Doctor of Medicine degree (MD). Third- and fourth-year medical students observe and provide care under the supervision of a resident, fellow and attending physician (see below).
  • Physician: When a medical student completes medical school and receives an MD degree, he or she is a physician, qualified to practice medicine. A physician who does surgical procedures may also be called a surgeon.
  • Resident: A resident is a licensed physician who provides medical and surgical care while obtaining expertise in a specific field of medicine. A resident physician works under the supervision of an attending physician.
  • Intern: A first year resident may also be referred to as an intern.
  • Fellow: A fellow is a licensed physician who has completed a residency program and cares for patients under supervision, while obtaining further subspecialty training.
  • Attending: The attending is the senior physician who provides teaching and supervision to medical students, residents, interns and fellows. The attending physician holds the ultimate responsibility for the patient.