Outpatient Visits Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can I keep my child busy if there is a long wait or we have a longer appointment?

Every pediatric outpatient (or ambulatory) space is stocked with a variety of toys for different ages for use by any of our families. Please don't hesitate to ask a member of our team to help you and they will be happy to bring something into the room or waiting area for you to use with your child. When asking, please feel free to let the person know what kind of toys your child likes to typically play with at home. If we have something similar we are happy to bring that item in.

Is my child going to get a needle poke (shots, blood draw, etc.) today?

There is no clear-cut answer to this question, but that does not mean you shouldn't be able to try to prepare your child ahead of time. It's important to be honest with your child to make sure trust isn't broken. We suggest that you call the office of the provider you will be seeing and ask them directly. Each provider and service has different needs and their office will be best able to answer this question.

What if I can't afford the gas to get my child to his or her appointment?

We offer the Fuel the Care Program, which provides gasoline vouchers to families driving an hour ore more for specialty care at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center.

Where can we go to get food?

All of ambulatory clinics either have food/snacks on site or within walking distance.

  • The Patient and Family Kitchen provides free coffee, ice, water, fruit, snack bars, and other donated food items.
  • The cafeteria at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center provides patients, visitors, and staff with a variety of nutritious food options. Weekly menus are available on the Cafeteria page.
  • Center Court at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center offers snacks, sandwiches, bakery items, pizza, pasta, salads, and many other options at Cravin's Country Market & Deli, Au Bon Pain, and Sbarro.

Please ask the day of your appointment or feel free to call ahead of time if you need help assistance finding food for the day of your appointment.

Can we bring snacks and drinks that we can eat in the exam rooms?

Food and drinks are only allowed in the exam rooms and during your appointment if:

  1. Your child isn't fasting for any tests or procedures.
  2. The area you are in does not specify that you cannot have food or drink in that area. There are places in the clinics and hospital where food is not permitted. This is because those around you are not allowed to eat and it would not be fair to them.

Can I bring items from home such as toys or comfort items for my child?

Absolutely! It is actually very helpful for you to bring items your child is familiar with and finds comforting for their visit with the doctor. This will help ease any stress and decrease any anxiety your child may be feeling. Good items to bring are special blankets, stuffed animals, and favorite toys. Depending on the appointment favorite DVDs or music can also be helpful.

What if I already know that my child has a really hard time when at the doctor's office?

If your child has had a difficult time at the doctor's office in the past and you think his or her upcoming appointment will be challenging, please don't hesitate to contact the Child Life Program. The Child Life team will be able to discuss your child and his or her upcoming appointment with you to develop a plan to work to help make the appointment more successful.

When you call please specify which location you will be visiting (for example, Lebanon, Manchester, Nashua, etc.) and which service you will be seeing (for example, cardiology, gastroenterology, pulmonology, general pediatrics, etc.).

We are here to help

Please let us know if you have any additional questions in preparation for your child's visit.

Contact the Child Life Program