Pediatric Sedation Team

Our Pediatric Sedation Team is comprised of specially trained doctors, nurses, child life specialists, and technicians who are dedicated to reducing the pain and stress associated with your child’s medical care. We understand that diagnostic testing and procedures performed in the hospital can be overwhelming and scary to children. As a team, we will work individually with you and your child to make the experience as positive as possible.
Some Pediatric Procedures commonly performed with sedation include:
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • CT scans *Electroencephalography (EEG)
  • Hearing tests (BAER)
  • Bronchoscopy
  • Lumbar punctures
  • Bone marrow biopsies
  • PICC line placements
  • Minor surgery
  • Cardiac catheterizations
  • Joint Injections/Botox

Frequently Asked Questions for the Pediatric Sedation Team: 

Why does my child need sedation?
Diagnostic imaging and procedures can sometimes be frightening to children. Some of these tests may require your child to hold still for a length of time or can be uncomfortable. Our team will meet with you and your child to develop a sedation plan that offers comfort, safety, and the ability for the test or procedure to be completed with the most accurate results.
Who schedules my child’s sedation?
Your child’s doctor or their nurse will call and schedule a sedation if they feel it is necessary. You will receive a phone call letting you know when the appointment has been made.
What should we do at home to prepare for my child’s sedation?
Preregister at Providence by calling (907) 261-3149 from 7am-6pm. If you are scheduled for a procedure on a Monday, you cannot pre-register online or by phone after 5:00 pm on Friday. You will need to pre-register when you arrive, so please plan for the additional time and arrive early. The admitting desk is located on the 1st floor just to the right of the main entrance.
A member of our Pediatric Sedation Team will call you one to two days before the scheduled procedure to discuss your child’s medical history, review expectations, and answer questions. If we are unable to reach you, or if you have additional questions, please call (907) 212-3133 and ask to speak with the procedure nurse Monday through Friday 7 am-5pm or the charge nurse 24 hours a day.
Your child is not allowed to have anything to drink or eat for several hours before the test or procedure. An empty stomach decreases the risk of vomiting or breathing fluids into the lungs. Please adhere to the following guidelines in regards to fasting:
If your child eats/drinks Minimum fasting period
Clear liquids: juice, popsicle, jello​ 2 hours​
Breast milk​ 4 hours​
Infant formula/milk/light snack​ 6 hours​
Meal​ 8 hours​
If your child is prescribed life-sustaining, behavioral or seizure medications, they may be taken with a teaspoon of water at their normal time. Any other medications may be given when your child wakes up from sedation. Please bring any medications your child is currently taking to the hospital with you in their original packaging.
If your child is scheduled for an MRI, please make the Pediatric Sedation Team aware in advance if your child has any metal implants or programmable shunts. Also, please dress your child in clothes that do not have metal (zippers, snaps etc..). We suggest pajamas or sweat suits for their comfort and remove all jewelry at home.
If your child is scheduled for a BAER (hearing test), you will be asked to have seen an Ear-Nose-Throat (ENT) doctor or pediatrician within one week of your scheduled procedure in order to have your child’s ears evaluated. If your child has an ear infection or blocked ear drums from wax, it can delay or cancel your hearing test.
If your child is scheduled for an EEG, please make sure their hair is washed and dried the night before or that morning. Please don’t use any sprays, oils or dressing on their hair and leave it down without any clips, barrettes or hair ties.
If your child feels ill the day of the procedure or is recovering from a cold or flu (i.e. fever, stuffy nose, or is vomiting), please call (907) 212-3133, as we may need to reschedule the procedure. Any cancellation or rescheduling is done with your child’s best interest in mind.
Feel free to bring a favorite toy, pillow, or blanket from home on the day of the procedure. A familiar object may be calming to your child. If you need age specific information on how to prepare your child for their visit, please contact our  Child Life Department. Child Life Specialists are experts on how to minimize your child’s anxiety about coming to the hospital.
What will occur on the day of the procedure?
On the day of the procedure, please check in at the main admission desk, conveniently located diagonally from the main entrance to the hospital on the first floor. Please bring your child to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), located on the third floor of the ‘D’ tower of Providence Hospital. A security person at the boat desk located near the PICU will give you a parent badge to allow entrance into the PICU doors.
Our sedation team will explain the entire procedure to you and your child. In order to administer the sedation during the procedure, your child may need an intravenous line (IV). When you arrive to the PICU, a numbing cream containing lidocaine may be placed on your child’s skin to lessen the discomfort of the IV insertion.
A child life specialist is available to provide preparation, distraction and help your child find coping skills that help to lessen anxiety before, during, and after the procedure. With the help of a child life specialist and preparation some children may not need sedation for their test. Please encourage your child to bring their favorite movie, music or toy.
Parents are always welcome to stay during the procedure. If your child is having an MRI or CT and there is a chance you could be pregnant you will need to wait out in the waiting room. Your child will be placed on a monitor and closely watched during and after the procedure. Many procedures are done in the PICU, however if the machine or procedure is located in another area, your child will return to the PICU room where our staff will help your child wake up.
If your child requires sedation, the time it will take for your child to recover depends on the type of medication given, the test performed, and your child’s individual needs. This can range from 30 minutes to a few hours. Your child will remain monitored by a member of the sedation team until he/she is awake. The IV will be removed soon after the procedure is complete, and your child will be offered food/drink when awake.
What will my child feel like after the procedure?
Some children will feel clumsy or drowsy for several hours after the procedure. Unless instructed otherwise, your child can return to a normal diet. We encourage “quiet play” at home the rest of the day after the procedure and to watch your child closely until he/she is back to his/her normal behavior.
Scheduling information for referring providers
To schedule a procedure and/or sedation, please call our sedation line at (907) 212-8485. With scheduling, please attach a recent (within 30 days) history and physical, a written order for the test or procedure, and any consultations required. Fax this paperwork to (907)212-8486. Any other questions or concerns please call (907) 212-3133 and ask to speak with the procedure nurse Monday-Friday 7am-5pm or the charge nurse. Please be aware that the patient and guardian should arrive 1.5 hours prior to the procedure time for preparation. If a doctor wants to call and speak specifically with a PICU intensivist, please call the PICU at (907) 212-3133.