Our Patient & Family Advisory Council has compiled some tips and suggestions that they have found helpful along their hospital journey.
- Keep a list of all your questions
These questions can relate to your child’s current care as well as any options for care your child may have.
- Try to describe your child’s symptoms in detail
The more accurate and descriptive you are the better.
- Keep the Patient & Family Guide you get upon admission
You may not feel up to reading it right away, but please remember to go back and look through all the important information inside, when you have a moment.
- Understand your child’s medication
Ask as many questions about your child’s medication as you need to. These answers will help you and your family, understand its importance and help you to feel more comfortable when administering medication.
- Inform the medical staff of your child’s routines
They can support you in trying to keep those routines while your child is hospitalized; especially your child’s eating and sleeping patterns.
- Bring paper and a pen
It’s always good to be well-prepared and ready to take notes.
- Bring a notebook documenting your child’s health to the hospital
Include contact information for all specialists, therapists and doctors caring for your child.
- Encourage a friend or another family member to listen to care plans with you
Two sets of ears are better than one, but if that’s not possible, consider tape recording your conversations to help you remember and form your questions.
- Use the pantry to store food
The pantry is available for families of patients to store any necessary food. Please label your food or containers with your child’s name, room number and date. Coffee and some limited snacks are also available to families tending to their children.
- Fill closets, drawers, and nightstands
Please feel free to store your personal items in the closets, drawers and nightstand in your child’s room.
- Be honest about your child’s needs
Talk with your child’s care team if you have concerns about meeting expectations, your ability to follow through, or if you’re unsure about meeting your child’s needs.
- Communicate with your child’s medical team
Keep a record of each medical team member that is involved in your child’s medical care. These records or notes will assist you when contacting them after discharge.
- Discharge planning begins the day your child is admitted
Ask questions along the way about what you will need to care for your child at home. This will help you avoid feeling overwhelmed at the time of discharge.
- Eat, sleep and take good care of yourself
It may seem hard to think about you in this moment, but it’s important that you are taken care of as well.
- When friends and family offer assistance — Say YES!
Having a child hospitalized can be a stressful time, allow yourself and your child some relief. This also offers an opportunity for your family to familiarize themselves with your child’s new diagnosis or new care plan.