During Your Hospital Stay
We encourage your family's involvement
Typically for children, hospitals are unfamiliar settings with many strangers. That’s why your family’s involvement is an important part of your child’s healing and sense of security. Your family can help your child by participating during his stay. Our child life specialist is available to offer ideas and support your family. We encourage you to ask for assistance.
During your child’s 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 with you. Other children often deal with their emotions by retreating or becoming quiet — keeping their feelings to themselves. These responses are normal. Be certain to share your concerns with our staff members and child life specialist, who are there to assist you.
You are the expert
Our staff members are healthcare experts, but you are the expert when it comes to your child’s needs. Be your child’s advocate and communicate with staff. Ask as many questions as you wish to ensure that your child is receiving the best care. Share your child’s unique needs and your thoughts on special measures that will help to make their stay more comfortable.
Write down any health-related questions about your child or concerns you encounter when communicating with staff. It is also helpful to note names of staff members and other information they share with you. We encourage you to speak with the unit nursing manager, who will assist you as needed.
Your Care Team
Your child will be admitted either by the emergency department or his physician. Once the Pediatrics Unit is made aware of your child’s transfer, your child’s healthcare team will start putting a plan in place to meet your child’s needs, and you will begin meeting the experts who will help your child during his hospital stay.
As a parent, you should know:
- You always have the right to ask questions. If you want to know who a person is, simply ask him. If you want to know what a nurse is doing, ask her. If you do not understand what your healthcare team is communicating to you, ask for further clarification.
- All Parkview employees are required to wear an identification badge.
- You will have different nurses during your stay, and they regularly change shifts. Each shift, an assigned nurse will visit your child to evaluate vital signs — including blood pressure, heart rate, pulse and temperature readings — and perform IV site checks. Your child’s nurse will introduce herself, and she will wear Caribbean blue scrub pants with a kid-friendly scrub top.
- If your child hasn’t already had an IV started, the IV team will come to start an IV for your child. Our IV team is comprised of nurses who wear Caribbean blue scrubs from head to toe.
- Your child’s physician will probably visit your child early in the morning. You may choose to discuss your child’s health at the bedside or outside the room, or you may want to discuss information at a later time. Most physicians usually wear professional attire, and some occasionally wear a white coat.
- Your child’s physician may request a consult from another physician or specialty physician. Your physician should let you know he requested a consult, but you may not know when or if the consulting physician will visit your child’s room. If you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to ask your nurse or physician. Again, most physicians usually wear professional attire, and some occasionally wear a white coat.
- Your child may require physical, occupational or speech therapy, and a therapist may visit your room. Your nurse will make all efforts to communicate this information to you in advance, but sometimes therapists may arrive unexpectedly. All therapists wear olive green-colored scrubs.
- Your child may require respiratory therapy. Your nurse will make all efforts to communicate this with you in advance. Respiratory therapists wear dark brown-colored scrubs.
- A pediatric pharmacist may visit your child’s room if you or your physician have questions or concerns about medication. She wears a white lab coat.
- Sometimes your child’s physician may order diagnostic imaging (X-ray, CT scan, MRI or ultrasound). Some of this imaging can take place in the child’s room; however, sometimes they will need to be transported to our imaging department at Parkview Regional Medical Center, which is connected to the Women’s and Children’s Hospital. Your child will be transported by diagnostic imaging technicians who wear slate grey-colored scrubs.
- Child life specialists – trained experts who will help your family overcome challenging events – are available. They often have games, toys or activities that can help your child effectively cope while in the hospital. They wear black pants and coral polo shirts.
- Student nurses are often in the unit and will assist with duties as needed. Like nurses, they should introduce themselves. They wear different colors depending on their collegiate affiliation.
- Unit assistants will help with a variety of tasks – from checking vital signs to helping with baths. They wear taupe-colored scrubs.
- Case managers and social workers are available if you or a family member needs to discuss your child’s medical treatments or healthcare-related issues. They wear white lab coats.
- Patient advocates are available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. They can assist you with special needs and requests and act as liaisons to Parkview administration personnel.
- Language interpreters for Spanish, Burmese and other languages are available on an as-needed basis. Talk to your nurse to learn about this service.
Monitoring your child
Most children are monitored through “Intake & Output” — a plan that keeps track of the number of wet diapers, stools and whether the child vomits, as well as the foods and drinks your child consumes. You may change your child’s diaper, but please let the nurse know when your child has produced urine, stool or vomit.
Safety Tips During Your Child’s Stay
- To promote the highest level of safety, we ask you to lock your child’s crib rails in the up position, unless you are actively caring for your child. Crib tops should also be pulled down over the frame to prevent an active child from climbing out.
- Preventing falls is important. We ask that your child always wear footwear when out of bed. Please keep the floor clear of toys, travel bags, debris, etc.
- For assistance, press the call button located on the bedrail with the nurse’s picture on it. In case of an emergency while in the restroom, a call light is also available on the remote control.
Sleeping Overnight with Your Child
If your child is hospitalized in our pediatrics unit or Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, we welcome one parent to stay with your child in the room. We provide a comfortable daybed with linens and pillows near your child’s bed, and a shower and closet are in each room. Other accommodations are available at local hotels and the Ronald McDonald House®
Staying in touch with family and friends during your hospital stay is important. Parkview offers CaringBridge — a free, private website that connects family and friends during a serious health event, care and recovery.
Creating and updating a CaringBridge website is easy — you can add health updates and photos to share along with your story. You can also receive messages of support in the guestbook.
For more information, or to create your own CaringBridge website, visit www.caringbridge.org/parkview. For assistance, select the "Help" link, or call (615) 789-2300, between 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Central time, Monday through Friday.
Visiting hours are from 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. daily, but may vary depending on your expressed wishes and your child’s medical condition, as well as the judgment of medical staff members who are providing treatment.
Each visitor must be buzzed into the unit, will be required to sign in and wear a visitor badge. Visitors must be free from illness. Visitors recently exposed to a communicable disease should refrain from visiting. Siblings who visit must be supervised at all times, including when they are playing in the playroom.
For more information, contact the pediatric department’s front desk at (260) 672-6300.