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Helping patients and families cope

Children and families have a lot to deal with when facing medical illnesses, surgeries, and hospitalizations. The Surgery Department at Boston Children’s Hospital includes a psychologist, Dr. Lauren Mednick, who has expertise in helping patients and families cope with medical conditions and procedures. Over the years, she has helped hundreds of patients and families prepare for surgeries. We understand a child’s surgery is stressful for families. The team at Boston Children’s hospital is dedicated to your child’s physical health and their emotional well-being.

Why should you meet with our Clinical Psychologist?

Dr. Mednick can help patients and families: 

  • Prepare for medical procedures or surgery
  • Learn tools to promote healthy coping throughout the surgery experience
  • Learn strategies to help follow and maintain the medical treatment plan
  • Learn new ways to cope with symptoms of a medical illness or side effects from medical treatment
  • Cope with feelings such as worries, anger, or sadness related to new or ongoing medical conditions

Tips for Preparing Kids for Medical Procedures

  • Children can sense how their parents feel. One of the best ways to help your child is to stay calm.
  • Playing with a toy medical kit can help younger children express their feelings and thoughts and get familiar with medical equipment.
  • All kids do better when they know what to expect before and after a medical procedure.
  • Kids want to know what they will feel, see, smell, and taste.
  • When and what to tell a child depends on the specific characteristics of the child, such as their age, desire for information, and previous medical experiences.
  • While brief reassurance can comfort your child, constant reassurance can increase anxiety.  
  • Practice distracting your child from their worries with toys, videos, or games.

How do I make an appointment with Dr. Mednick?

You will need to call 617-355-7800 to set-up an appointment with Dr. Mednick. Surgery administrative staff will work with Dr. Mednick to arrange an appointment time that fits your schedule, frequently in conjunction with other medical appointments.