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Plan Your Visit

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Welcome to Cook Children's where everything we do centers around providing the best care possible for your child and family. Browse the sections below to learn what to expect before, during and after your visit and access helpful guides.

Guide: Preparing for surgery

Preparing your child and yourself for a surgery can feel overwhelming. Our surgery guide can help make the job a little easier. Please feel free to view, share or print a copy of the guide for your convenience.

View and download our surgery guide

Our surgery coloring book can help your child understand what's happening

Our surgery coloring book in Spanish

Guide: Helpful things to know

We know the medical center is really big, and there's a lot going on. Most parents eventually say they wish they'd known some of the basic things when they first arrived. So, parents on the Cook Children's Family Advisory Council put together a list of the those things. Here are the tips they've learned along the way.

  • Cook Children's retail pharmacy
    Cook Children’s has a retail pharmacy on the first floor, next to the Emergency Department. You can have your child’s medicines filled at the pharmacy or delivered to you in the waiting room. If you’d like to pick them up before you leave, let your nurse know as soon as possible. The pharmacy’s phone number is 682-885-6913. You can pick up and pay for your child's medicines before you leave the medical center.
  • Child Life specialists offer support
    In addition to providing play activities, a Child Life specialist can also:
    • Prepare and support you and your child for procedures.
    • Talk with patients and siblings about diagnoses, treatment and other changes.
    • Help celebrate birthdays and other important life events.
  • Social workers are here to help
    You can ask to talk with a social worker for help with:
    • Job, lodging and child care issues.
    • Medical insurance and/or other financial concerns.
    • Problem-solving, community resources and crisis intervention.
  • Surgical procedure follow-up
    Within 30 days following your child’s surgical procedure, a Cook Children’s staff member will call and check on your child. Cook Children’s takes part in a national program that measures the quality of patient care and outcomes. The information provided by parents helps Cook Children’s.
  • Actual time in surgery
    Your surgeon will tell you how long your child’s surgery will take, but please remember the time required both before and after the surgery. Both of these phases take time and are important stages of the process. Don’t be alarmed if the time in surgery is longer than discussed.
  • There is a chapel
    There is a small chapel on the second floor by the elevators. The chapel is open 24 hours a day and Catholic masses are held Fridays at noon. Chaplains are also available by calling 682-885-4030.
  • There are lots of checks and balances
    The surgical staff will ask you several times about your child’s surgical procedure, history and medications. This is done so the staff feels confident that the parents have a good understanding of the surgery being performed and that all members of the team agree. Also, many checks are in place to ensure nothing in your child’s history or medication list have been missed or left out.
  • You know your child best
    Share your concerns with the surgery staff and surgeon. If you don't feel like you're being heard, ask to see the nurse manager or call a patient representative at 682-885-6698.
  • Keep a notebook
    Download our FREE health care notebook to write down questions and information about your child's care, keep track of doctors appointments, medications and more. Health care notebooks are also available for free from the Family Health Library. Just stop by, call 682-885-3060 or email family.library@cookchildrens.org.
  • Surgery tours are available
    You can schedule a tour prior to your child’s surgery. To schedule a tour, call 682-885-7200.

Knowing what to expect can help make things go more smoothly. Please feel free to view, share or print a copy of the guide for your convenience.

Guide: Helpful things to know