Visiting the Ambulatory Procedure Center (APC) at St. Louis Children’s Hospital


Welcome to the Ambulatory Procedure Center at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. Our APC team strives to provide an excellent experience for every patient, every family, every day. We are glad that you are here and look forward to serving you and taking care of your child. This video was created to give you an idea of how your day will flow here in the Ambulatory Procedure Center. First, a nurse will greet you in admitting and bring you back to the unit. The nurse will weigh your child and take your child’s temperature before bringing you into a patient room. Once in the room, the nurse will take your child’s vital signs, such as blood pressure, heart rate and pulse oximetry. You will then need a pediatric nurse practitioner who will ask questions about your child’s health history and when they last ate and drank. The nurse practitioner will listen to your child’s heart and lungs and complete a workup prior to sedation. When the nurse practitioner is done examining your child, you will meet a Child Life specialist. The Child Life Specialist will explain to your child, in a developmentally appropriate way, what they will experience during their visit, such as an IV start, use of mask for induction of sedation, as well as any important details that will go along with the specific test or procedure your child is having that day. Finally, you will meet the anesthesia team that will sedate you child for their procedure or test. Members of the anesthesia team will be with your child throughout the entire test, monitoring your child’s vital signs. While waiting in the room for your test to begin, patients and parents may select toys and activities from the child life cabinet to keep the child engaged prior to their procedure. There is also a TV present at each child’s bedside if they prefer to watch television. Once you and your child have met the team, a nurse will start an IV on your child. The nurse will use numbing medicine prior to inserting the IV to help alleviate any discomfort the IV placement may cause. The Child Life Specialist will also be present to support and distract the patient during the IV start. Parents are also welcome to stay at the bedside for the IV start. After the IV is placed, the team taking care of your child will escort the patient and one parent to where the procedure will begin. Prior to separation and sedation, a timeout will be performed using a child armband placed earlier to verify that the correct procedure is being performed on the correct patient. Once this is done, an APC staff member will escort the parent back to the waiting room to reunite with other family or friends that may be present. Family members will be given a pager, much like those used at restaurants. This pager will work on the first floor or the lower level where the cafeteria is located. After you child’s procedure, your child will return to the APC and begin to recover and wake up from sedation. You will be paged once your child begins to wake up. When paged, your pager will light up red, beep and vibrate. When you reunite with your child in recovery, your child may still appear groggy and will still be being monitored. As your child becomes more alert, a nurse will offer your child something to eat and drink. It is important to have your child drink prior to going home. Your child’s recovery nurse will go over discharge instructions with you and answer any questions you may have regarding the procedure or care at home. Once your child is able to tolerate food and drink, your child’s IV will be removed and you will be able to leave. You should expect a follow-up call the day after your child’s procedure in which a nurse will check with you to see if you child had any concern after discharge from sedation. We are happy you’ve chosen St. Louis Children’s Hospital as your care provider and we want to ensure you have a superior patient experience while you are visiting the Ambulatory Procedure Center. Please let us know if there is anything we can assist you or your child with during your stay with us. We look forward to serving you in the future because here at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, we do what’s right for kids.

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