Inpatient Visits

At Children’s Hospital, we understand that the process of diagnosing and treating your child’s illness can be stressful and confusing.  If your child is being admitted to the hospital, we can provide some information to help you prepare your child for the experience.  We also offer some basic information that will help you familiarize yourself with the services and amenities that are available to make your child—and you—as comfortable as possible during his or her stay.

You may also want to speak with a child life specialist who is professionally trained to help children cope with hospitalization and other medical experiences.

Admission (Checking In)

Your child’s doctor will tell you on what day and time your child will be admitted to the hospital.  Please discuss with your child’s doctor any special steps that must be taken before admission (i.e. blood work, medications, etc.)

To begin the admission process, you will first go to the Business Office located on the 1st floor between the Children’s Hospital Lobby and GHS Memorial Medical Center Lobby.  The Business Office will ask for information about you and your child such as name, address, birthday, social security number and possible health insurance coverage.  If you have any identification cards or health insurance cards, be sure to bring those with you to the hospital.  You will also be asked to sign forms that permit the hospital to perform tests and provide treatment.  At this time, you will also receive information about insurance coverage and the billing process.

Once you have finished in the Business Office, a staff member will escort you to Children’s Hospital and your assigned room.  This is where you will meet your child’s nurse who will assist you with the rest of the admission process and begin providing care for your child.

Members of the Healthcare Team

During your hospital stay, many health care professionals may see your child.  These include physicians, nurses, technologists, therapists, dieticians, social workers, and child life specialists.  All members of our healthcare team are dedicated to providing the best care for your child during his or her stay.

Physicians

Several doctors may be involved in managing your child’s care.  The physician who is chiefly responsible for the care your child receives during his or her hospital stay is known as the “attending physician.”  This senior physician works with other Children’s Hospital physicians as needed to ensure your child gets the appropriate treatments and therapies.

Residents

Residents are physicians 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.  Because Children’s Hospital is a teaching facility, resident physicians play a valuable role in providing care to your child under the guidance of the attending physician.

Nurses

Our  professional nursing staff provides personalized care and support to your child during his or her stay in the hospital.  The registered nurse coordinating your child’s care will keep you informed of progress and 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 vital signs and relay information.

Therapists

Therapists specially trained in physical therapy, occupational therapy, respiratory therapy, and speech therapy may become part of your child’s care.  Your child’s nurse, physician, or therapist will more fully explain the therapists’ role in your child’s care.

Pharmacists

Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians work closely with your child’s medical team to ensure the effectiveness of all drug therapies.

Unit Secretary

The Unit Secretary stationed in each patient unit schedules many of your child’s tests, orders supplies, and answers the unit telephone.  The Unit Secretary can help you contact your child’s physician or nurse and can direct you to other individuals or departments for answers to any questions you may have.

Child Life Specialists

Trained Child Life Specialists provide psychosocial and emotional support for pediatric patients and their families.  This support is designed to foster a positive healthcare experience.  Knowing what to expect can help children cope more effectively with their hospitalization and treatments.  Therefore, Child Life Specialists  provide age-appropriate information to children about surgical, diagnostic, and medical procedures and help children and families cope with the child’s illness.

Social Workers

Clinical social workers are available to help your family manage the stresses that may be associated with your child’s illness.  They are also available to help make arrangements for your child’s post-hospital care, including home health care.

Your Room

All of our pediatric rooms are private.  Each room has a bed or crib for your child, a sleeper chair for one parent to spend the night, a TV, DVD player, a telephone for local calls, and a private bathroom with a shower.  A “privacy curtain” inside your room door can be closed when needed.

TV and Telephone

All pediatric rooms are equipped with a television and DVD player.  You are welcome to bring your own DVD’s from home.  Children’s Hospital provides a small lending library of DVD’s you can borrow during your child’s stay in the hospital.

Local phone calls can be made from the telephone in your child’s room.  For long distance calls, you can either use your cell phone or purchase a phone card.

Meals and Nutrition

Children’s Hospital provides patients with quality foods to accommodate individual preferences.  Unless your child is on a special diet, he or she selects meals each day for the following day.  Should your child have special dietary needs, a dietician will visit to discuss your child’s meal plan.  Because nutrition is an important part of your child’s care, please let your nurse know if you or other visitors bring your child any food.  This will help prevent any interference in your physician’s plan for your child’s care.

Hospital Safety Policies

Gifts

Gifts can do a lot to cheer up a child in the hospital.  Flowers, toys, stuffed animals, books, and games are terrific items to give a patient.  Because Children’s Hospital is committed to ensuring a safe environment for patients and their families, mylar (metallic) balloons are welcome and make a hospital room brighter and more colorful.  However, latex (rubber) balloons are prohibited because such balloons are a choking hazard for young children and can cause allergic reactions for patients and staff.  Thank you for your understanding.  Also, please note that flowers may not be allowed in our Pediatric Intensive Care Unit or Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Unit.

Valuables

Please leave all valuables at home.  Items such as jewelry, expensive toys, clothing, or excessive cash should not be brought to the hospital.  Children’s Hospital is not responsible for the loss or damage to any personal property kept in your child’s room.

Cell Phones

The use of cellular phones is permitted in many areas of the hospital, including your child’s room.  However, it is best to inquire with staff about cellular phone use before placing a call.
Tobacco-Free Environment

The use of tobacco products is not permitted inside or outside of any GHS facility.  By providing a tobacco-free environment for our patients, visitors, physicians, and employees, we are doing our part to promote good health.

What To Bring

Packing for a hospital visit is an important part of preparation.  Have your child help by identifying what he or she wants to bring.  Making choices helps your child feel in control over the situation and helps your child get involved with the process of hospitalization.  This can also help add a sense of adventure rather than a sense of fear to the hospitalization experience.  Some important items to pack include:

  • Toys, games, books, hand-held video games, laptop, CD’s, DVD’s and photos
  • A favorite stuffed animal, blanket, or pillow
  • Your child’s schoolwork and books
  • Glasses, hearing aids, crutches, braces, wheelchair, corrective shoes, or other orthopedic aids
  • Medications your child is currently taking and a list of those medications
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Hair brush/comb, hair dryer
  • Pajamas, socks, underwear
  • Diapers, formula (if appropriate)

Preparing Your Child

To help you and your child adequately prepare for your visit to the hospital or clinic, click here to see our guidelines for preparing your child.