The Parkview Pediatrics Unit provides the most advanced technology in an environment that isn't just like home, but in a hospital setting that helps children and their parents feel as comfortable as possible.
The security of parents and family helps a great deal in a child’s healing process. To help nurture family involvement, Parkview child life specialists are available to offer ideas. We encourage you to ask for assistance.
During the hospital stay, your child may experience a range of emotions, including fear, anger, confusion and anxiety. Some children may even cry or act out in their parents’ presence, because they know they are safe. Other children often deal with their emotions thorough retreating or becoming quiet — keeping their feelings to themselves. These responses are normal. Be certain to share your concerns with a child life specialist who is there to assist you.
Improving the Hospital Experience
- Bring familiar items like family photos, your child's own clothes, security items, drawings and letters from siblings, friends and/or classmates.
- If your child is up to it, encourage visits from friends, help them keep up with schoolwork and take part in the Child Life Activity Center in the pediatrics area
- Promote reading, drawing and playing activities at the bedside, if your child cannot leave the room.
- Ask your child life specialist for ideas to help your family cope with your child's hospitalization.
- Know you and your child's rights and responsibilities.
You can be assured of your child's physical and emotional well-being
- Ask to be with your child during his/her treatments and procedures. Focus on your child's face instead of the procedure.
- Read books, offer toys or tell family stories to help distract your child.
- Make certain your child is prepared for and understands to the best of their ability what is happening. Explain what is happening in simple words.
- Ask to be in your child’s room when possible and stay in the room overnight if possible.
- Help your child’s caregivers understand your child's unique needs and measures of comfort. You are your child’s best advocate.
- While the staff is out of the room, write down concerns you want to share with them. It is also helpful to write down staff names, responsibilities, and the information they share with you.
- Speak to a shift supervisor or manager if you have difficulty with any staff member. We are there to help you resolve the issue.
What to bring
Consider your own needs during the time you will spend with your child in the hospital, including:
- Loose-fitting clothes — you may need to rest or sleep in a chair or pull-out bed
- Travel-sized hygiene items
- Comfortable shoes — you may be standing for long periods of time
- Sweater or light jacket
- Hand lotion — you will need to wash your hands frequently
- Glasses, contacts and solution
- Prescription and non-prescription medications
Coping for Parents and Families
- Be supportive to your child by taking care of yourself, physically and emotionally.
- Eat nutritious foods and get plenty of rest to stay alert.
- Take breaks and trade off with other family members and friends to get some quiet and alone time.
- Ask friends and family to help with tasks such as child care, meals and pet care to reduce stress.
Parkview offers CaringBridge® — free, private Web site that connect family and friends during a serious health event, care and recovery.
Staying connected with family and friends.
Creating and updating a CaringBridge Web site is easy — you can add health updates and photos to share your story. You can also receive messages of support in the guestbook.
For more information, or to create your own CaringBridge Web site, visit www.caringbridge.org/parkview. For assistance, select the "Help" link, or call (615) 789-2300, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Central time, Monday through Friday.