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Preparing for your visit
Plan to arrive at least 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment time, leaving plenty of time for parking and registration. Some imaging exams may require more preparation time. Specific instructions will be provided.
In our hospitals in Milwaukee and Neenah and at our Surgicenter, patients can only have one individual who is a guardian or over the age of 18 in the building at a time. Visitor lists in Epic will be limited to two names. These two names must remain the same for the entire stay. Exceptions for patients admitted to our hospitals are end-of-life situations and infants whose sole source of nutrition is breastfeeding. All other exceptions must be approved by unit leadership during weekdays and the patient care manager in house evenings and weekends.
In all of our urgent, primary and specialty care clinics, and emergency department only one caregiver (and no siblings) will be allowed to accompany a child to an appointment. If siblings have back-to-back appointments, you can contact the clinic to ask if an exception to the rule can be made.
Special restrictions are in place for the MRI department. The MRI team will review these with you on the day of your appointment.
After your appointment is scheduled, you may receive a call from an imaging nurse. The nurse may have more questions about your child to make sure that we are prepared for your child's visit. An imaging nurse may also contact you two days before your test to review preparation instructions. If you have any questions about your exam, you may contact:
Imaging nurses contact
Availability: 7:00 am – 7:00 pm.
If the nurse is not available, please leave a message and a nurse will call you back.
Preparing your child for the imaging exam
An imaging exam can be very stressful for children. Your child will feel less anxious if you prepare your child ahead of time. The best way to prepare your child for this imaging exam is to be honest and speak in simple words that your child can understand. It may also be helpful to bring items that are comforting to your child such as a favorite toy, blanket, stuffed animal, or book.
Ask for a child life specialist, a trained pediatric professional, who helps children cope with stress and uncertainty of illness, injury, and hospitalization. One of the goals is to promote understanding of the procedure through preparation and medical play. Children often cope better when prepared and offered age appropriate play opportunities such as music, I Spy books, and an iPad.Infants
- Comfort your baby by being close and speaking in a soothing voice
- Depending on the test, bring a bottle of juice or formula for after the exam
- Also bring a bottle/pacifier, special blanket toy, and stroller
- On the day of, or right before the test, explain "you will have some pictures taken so the doctors can help you feel better."
- Use simple words and be honest
- Bring a favorite book, toy, or blanket and snack for after the test
- School-age children have good imaginations and may imagine the exam to be scarier than it really is.
- Caution: the information found on the internet can be frightening or inaccurate
- On the day of, or right before the test, explain "you will have some pictures taken of your body so the doctors can help you feel better."
- Use simple words and be honest about things that may hurt such as getting a needle poke.
- Bring a favorite book, toy, game, movie, or CD for your child.
- Depending on the test, bring a snack for after the exam.
- Teenagers understand information but may be reluctant to ask questions
- Encourage your teenager to participate by asking questions and include them in the conversation
- Let them tell you what they think will happen and how they feel
- Teach your child how to breathe deeply to relax their body. Have them imagine being in a favorite place.
- Listen to music or watch a favorite movie
- Image Gently, the Alliance for Radiation Safety in Pediatric Imaging
- Radiation Dose (PDF)
Children who are prepared for medical procedures experience less fear and anxiety and will have better long term adjustment to health care.
Children's Wisconsin's imaging department was re-designated as a Diagnostic Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology. Our imaging department was the third children's hospital in the nation to receive this prestigious credential.