In this section, you’ll 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 to learn more about Kids' Health information and even get some homework help, click here.
What To Bring?
You’ve seen those gowns that people wear in the hospital, right? The ones with the great ventilation in the back? Don’t worry—it's not required attire for the hospital. Feel free to wear whatever you would like—whatever is comfortable. You’ll be spending part of your time in bed, so don’t forget whatever you wear as pajamas, as well as regular clothes for during the day. Bring lots of socks to keep your feet warm, and even hats if you want them.
Music, Video Games, etc.
Feel free to bring your own entertainment, games, or whatever from home. The rooms have TV’s, DVD players, and wireless internet access. Some of our rooms even have PS2’s. If you like to spend time playing video games, listening to music, or reading books and magazines, bring them. The doctors, nurses, and staff want you to feel as close to home as possible. You can even borrow books, games, and movies to use in your room. Or you can chill out with other teens in the Playroom.
Don’t forget the basics, like toothbrushes and toothpaste, combs and brushes, soap or lotions, make up, and other things you might need. You will have space in the bathroom in your room to store your stuff.
You’ll get breakfast, lunch, and dinner each day on trays brought to your room. Pretty nice to be waited on, I must say. Down the hall is a snack kitchen where you can pick out juice, milk, crackers or whatever. They have drink machines as well. But you are always welcome to bring your own food and beverages from home—they’ll keep them for you in the snack kitchen.
In addition to your laptops and whatever, you can even bring your own pillow or quilt or your old blankie (we won’t tell anyone). While you are here at the hospital, it is 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 teens 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 day—to check your temperature and blood pressure and stuff like that. It’s all part of being in a hospital. After awhile you’ll 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, and more. You can even shoot pool or play video games.
Who Will I See?
The people working at the hospital are there to help you get better. You will meet lots of new people while you are in the hospital. Please just ask if you have questions. They have talked with lots of teens along the way.
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 conjunction 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 therapists’ 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 teens and their families cope with being in the hospital. They can talk with you about any tests or procedures you may have so you that know what to expect. They are also 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.