In this section, youíll find out everything you need to know about preparing to come to the hospital. There are several things you can do to help yourself get ready. And if you want to learn more about Kids' Health information, or even get some homework help, click here.
What To Bring?
Have you ever seen those gowns that people wear in the hospital? They are very easy to take on and off, but you donít have to wear one if you donít want to. You can bring all of your favorite clothes from home, your softest shirt, your best jeans, your coolest shoes, whatever. Be sure and pack things that will be comfortable, since youíll be spending at least some of the time in bed. Bring your own pajamas and slippers for nighttime and regular clothes for during the day. And donít forget lots of socks to keep your feet warm (and even a hat if you like!) just to be sure youíll be comfortable.
Toys and Games
Got a favorite stuffed animal or game or toy? Bring it along! And if you get tired of your own stuff, the hospital has playrooms filled with lots of fun things to do. You can borrow movies and books here, just like at the video store or library. We even have wagons and cars to ride up and down the halls. The doctors, nurses, and other staff want you to be as comfortable and active as you can.
Donít forget the basics, like a toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush or comb, soap, or lotions. You can keep lots of those things in your bathroom. You can even bring your own tub toys.
We have plenty of food at the hospital. We serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner each day on a tray brought right to your room. Right down the hall is a snack kitchen where you can pick out juice, milk, crackers or whatever. If drink machines are what you want, weíve got Ďem. If you have a favorite food or snack, bring it and weíll keep it for you in the snack kitchen.
Donít forget blankies, babies, pillows, or whatever makes you feel at home. In fact, you can even put stuff up on the wall, like posters. Bring your own bedspread or drinking cups, whatever. If you love music, pack your MP3 player and bring along what you like to listen to. While youíre at Childrenís Hospital, your room is really YOUR ROOM.
What Will I Do?
At some point during your visit, your doctors will want you to rest. That means taking it easy, being quiet, staying in bed for awhile. You can still watch TV and videos, read, play quiet games and stuff like that most of the time. The doctors, nurses, and other staff will let you know when you can move or walk around.
The doctors will tell you all about your treatment. That could mean taking medicine, getting certain types of exercise or just plain rest. Other kids may be doing the same things you are and you will get to know each other. You will get lots of attention, day and night. For example, the doctors and nurses will take a look at you several times a dayóto check your temperature and blood pressure and stuff like that. Itís all part of being in a hospital. After awhile youíll get used to it.
The doctors will want you to move around at some point and may suggest a walk down the hallway or a trip to the playroom where you can pick out games, books, toys, and more. You can even shoot pool, play video games, or run the trains.
Who Will I See?
The people working at the hospital are there to help you get better. You will meet lots of new people during your stay at the hospital.
Several doctors may help take care of you while you are at the hospital.
Residents are doctors who have completed medical school and are training in a specialty, such as pediatrics or surgery. Interns are residents in their first year of training. The residents work very closely with all of your other doctors to provide you with the best care.
Your nurse will be your primary caregiver at the hospital. He or she will make sure you get the medicines or test you need to get better. You nurse will also be available to answer questions about treatments or hospital services. Patient Care Technicians (PCT) will be working in conjuction with the nursing staff, helping to check your vital signs and relay information.
Therapists specially trained in physical therapy, occupational therapy, respiratory therapy, and speech therapy may be part of your care. Your nurse, doctor, or therapist will more fully explain the therapistsí role in your care.
Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians work closely with your medical team to ensure the effectiveness of all drug therapies.
The Unit Secretary stationed in each patient unit schedules many of your tests, orders supplies, and answers the unit telephone. The Unit Secretary can help you contact your doctor or nurse and can direct you to other individuals or departments for answers to any questions you may have.
Child Life Specialists
Child Life Specialists are trained to help children and their families cope with being in the hospital. They can talk with you about any tests or procedures you may have so you know what to expect. They are great at finding activities to help keep you busy while you are in the hospital.
Social workers are available to help your family manage the stresses that may be associated with having a family member in the hospital. They are also available to help make arrangements for your post-hospital care, including home health care.
The hospital has chaplains on staff who can help you if you need someone to talk with or pray with or just work through some issues.
Volunteers are people who are available to help you with whatever you need; give you a ride down the hall, play a game or get something for you from the playroom. They wear pink or red coats.