Preparing For Your Child’s Hospital Stay
Our goal is to make sure you understand what to expect during your visit and feel as comfortable as possible. While every child’s inpatient experience is unique, here’s an idea of what to expect — and how to prepare for — a hospital stay at Children’s.
Packing For Your Child’s Hospital Stay
You probably already know what to pack for basics, but here are a few additional ideas:
- Comfy clothes, house shoes, and pajamas for you and your child
- Your child’s favorite stuffed animal or blanket
- Your favorite books or games
- Your child’s favorite books or games
- Laptop or tablet and the chargers
What To Expect
One of the ways we ensure that our patients receive the best care possible is by taking a team approach to care. During their hospital stay, your child’s care team might include:
- Bedside nurse who completes assessments, gives medications, and communicates with your child’s doctors
- Charge nurse who monitors the entire floor of patients and can help other nurses with any patient issues
- Child care partner (CCP) who measures your child’s vital signs, and assists with bathing, walking, and bathroom needs
- Physicians, residents, nurse practitioners, and/or physician assistants, who can give medical updates on how your child is doing and answer any questions about your child’s treatments, procedures or tests
- Respiratory therapist (RT) who does lung assessments and administers breathing medications
Each member of your child’s care team is responsible for different tasks to care for your child during their stay. These tasks usually include:
- Completing daily rounds, typically between 6 a.m. and noon. Your child’s nurse can give you a more exact time when rounds will take place. Rounds are a good time to speak with your child’s providers about any questions or concerns you might have.
- Offering to bathe your child daily.
- Assessing your child and taking their vital signs (temperature, heart rate, respiratory rate, and blood pressure) every 4 or 8 hours. Your child’s nurse will be able to tell you how often these assessments will take place based on your child’s needs.
- Monitoring your child’s “Ins and Outs” (also called I&Os). This includes how much your child is eating and drinking, as well as their urine and bowel movements. In order to keep accurate records, your child’s care team might ask that you:
- Notify them when your child eats or drinks.
- Place dirty diapers on the bathroom scale and notify the care team.
- Notify the care team after your child uses the toilet.
In order to make your child’s hospital stay, as comfortable as possible, Children’s also provides:
- Bathrooms and showers for patient/family use
- Personal care items (by request)
- A couch or sleeper chair in each room (linens are available in the room’s cabinet)
- Daily room cleaning (additional cleaning done upon request)
Visiting A Child At The Hospital
Who Can Visit?
Support from loved ones is an important part of a child’s recovery during a hospital stay. Parents and legal guardians are welcome to visit any time. Grandparents, siblings, and other guests can visit patients with permission from the patient’s parent or legal guardian. Except for siblings, all children who visit must be potty trained.
Are There Visiting Hours?
Parents, legal guardians, and grandparents (with permission) are welcome to visit 24/7. Other guests are encouraged to visit between 9 a.m. and 8:30 p.m.
Because a good night’s rest is an important part of recovery, we recommend that siblings not spend the night at the hospital.
What Are The Sign-In Procedures?
Visitors need to check in with a staff member at the front desk. Everyone is required to fill out a health screening form. Guests with fevers, flu-like symptoms, or any other contagious illness should not visit until they have been fever and/or symptom-free for at least 24 hours.
How To Visit When You Can’t Be There In-Person
If you aren’t able to be bedside during a child’s hospital stay, here are a few simple ways to let them know you’re there for them:
- Video chat on a laptop, tablet, or cell phone (Children’s has WiFi throughout the hospital)