Hi! My name is Ramsey! I’m dedicated to assisting families as they prepare for and cope with pediatric medical procedures. I help educate pediatric patients and empower them with information on what to expect while at the Yellowstone Surgery Center.

Sometimes when you’re doing something new it can make you a little nervous and that’s why we put together a video tour. It should help familiarize you with the surgery center and put your mind at ease. We are committed to your child having a positive experience. Please take the time to write down any additional questions you may have.

From a child’s point of view so kids can watch it too, the video follows a little girl’s visit to Yellowstone Surgery Center (YSC).

Watch our video: >>Enter Tour Video Here<<

A Clinical Nurse Liaison (CNL) is available to speak with you Monday – Friday. Please call (406) 237-5948 to contact them or leave a message for a call back.

To The Parents:

We understand it can be stressful when your child is facing surgery and that it may be hard to know what to expect. That’s why we have put together a list of the most commonly asked questions and answers to help you and your child prepare for the big day.

Based on their age and anxiety level, your child may receive medications like Versed or Midazolam prior to surgery to help aid in their transition into the operating room. It usually takes about 10 minutes to begin working, and may make your child feel sleepy.

Whether or not your child will have an I.V. started while they are awake is based on their age, maturity level or emotional readiness. Many children will have their I.V. started after they are under anesthesia.

After your child has been taken to the operating room, you will go to the waiting room. At least one parent or guardian must remain at Yellowstone Surgery Center at all times – before, during and after surgery and until he or she has been discharged. Once the surgery has been completed, the surgeon will visit with you in the waiting room.

It is our policy not to allow family members or loved ones to accompany their child into the operating room or into the Phase I recovery areas of our facility. After surgery has been completed, your child will be in Phase I for approximately one hour, where they are closely monitored as they recover and wake up from the anesthesia. When they begin to wake, a nurse will come and get you, and have you stay with your child in our Phase II recovery area.

It is normal for children not to be themselves immediately after surgery. The anxiety of having surgery, being in unfamiliar surroundings and the after-effects of anesthesia may cause them to be grumpy and out of sorts. These feelings, combined with post-surgical discomfort, may cause your child to cry, and sometimes inconsolably. Holding and comforting your child, talking to them softly and letting them snuggle with a favorite stuffed animal or blanket may help to calm them.

Your nurse will review any post-surgical care instructions with you, including what medications should be administered and when your child might return to normal activity. You will also receive information about any symptoms or behaviors you may want to look for after you take your child home. Instructions will vary by child and by the type of surgery performed.

What To Expect: 

Pre-Surgery Medication: Based on age and anxiety levels, some children may receive a medication prior to surgery that makes them feel sleepy and relaxed. This will also help with the transition into the operating room.

I.V. Start: Almost every surgery requires an I.V. to be placed for administration of fluids and medications by the doctors and nurses. The I.V. gets placed prior to or after the patient is asleep depending on the age of the child. Older children may need to have them placed prior to going under anesthesia because of safety concerns.

Operating Room: A nurse will escort your child to the Operating Room (O.R.). Yellowstone Surgery Center Policy does not allow parents or family members to go into the operating room. Your child will be taken good care of by our specially trained O.R. Staff.

Waiting Room: After your child goes into the O.R., you will be moved to where your child will be taken after they wake up from surgery (Phase 2 Recovery). At least one parent or guardian must remain at the Yellowstone Surgery Center at all times – before, during and after surgery – until he or she has been discharged. The surgeon will come and visit with you in your child’s recovery room.

Phase 1 Recovery: Your child will be brought to the first phase of recovery after his or her surgery is complete. Parents and family members are not allowed in this area of Yellowstone Surgery Center. Your child will be closely monitored by a Registered Nurse (RN) as they recover and wake up from anesthesia.

Phase 2 Recovery: The RN will transfer your child to the second phase of recovery where you were asked to wait. After they are awake and doing well recovering from anesthesia. It is important for us to reunite child and family as soon as possible.

Discharge: Your child will be ready for discharge when their pain and nausea is under control. We may not be able to take away all of the pain. We also want to make sure they are adequately hydrated and taking fluids. The RN will review the doctors’ orders and home care instructions specific to your child’s surgery. This will also include what to watch for, when to call the doctor and what medications to take at home if needed.

What To Expect Right After Surgery And Anesthesia:

  • Grumpy or “Out of Sorts’
  • Crying & Hard To Console
  • Sleepy or Drowsy
  • Dizziness
  • Sore Throat
  • Headache or Muscle Aches
  • Discomfort or Bruising At Needle Sites
  • Nausea & Rarely Vomiting
  • Skin That Feels Warm To The Touch


  • Most children will not feel up to their regular activities, but on a rare occasion anesthesia can cause children to become hyperactive.
  • Anesthesia and pain meds can affect a child’s balance and coordination. Avoid strenuous activities for up to 48 hours after surgery.

ACTIVITIES TO AVOID: Biking, swimming, running or other physical activities. (Be cautious around stairs.)

QUIET ACTIVITIES: Coloring or activity books, watching movies, reading stories.

When To Call Your Doctor:

If your child experiences any of these symptoms, contact your physician immediately.

  • Pain that is not controlled with the medications provided
  • Persistent vomiting
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Fever higher than 101 degrees
  • Excessive redness, swelling or drainage from the surgical site. (Note: A small amount of redness, swelling or drainage is common within the first 24 hours)

What To Have On Hand At Home:

  • Ibuprofen (Liquid)
  • Popsicles
  • Apple Juice
  • Sprite or 7UP
  • Soups
  • Jell-O or Pudding
  • Ice Cream

In The Media:

“Preparing pediatric patients for surgery is crucial to positive patient and parent experiences. Through preoperative screening, observation, and postoperative feedback, clinical staff nurses at Yellowstone Surgery Center (YSC) in Billings, Montana, identified a need to provide increased information to pediatric patients and their parents regarding the surgical process and postoperative expectations for recovery. The director of nursing developed a program for patients that includes preoperative education and hands-on experience. The YSC Kids program is a customizable program that includes nine initiatives designed specifically for children. The program has been shown to successfully educate pediatric patients and their parents about the entire perioperative process, this easing their anxiety about an unfamiliar situation.”

AORN Journal – The Official Voice of Perioperative Nursing


“Just a shout out to Yellowstone Surgery Center. My 2 year old had to have surgery this morning to correct her congenital trigger thumb. The staff was amazing from the minute we walked in the door. Communication was wonderful they kept me informed every second. My daughter felt loved the whole time she was there. I highly recommend this business.”

Tina R. October 2021