During the Hospitalization

During the hospital stay, your child will turn to you for emotional support. All children, regardless of age, worry about separation from their parents. Feelings of loneliness or of being abandoned in a strange place are what distress children the most when they are in unfamiliar surroundings. You can put them at ease by reassuring them of your presence and reminding them how critical it is to be treated by the doctors at the hospital.

Young children under the age of 5 need a parent or somebody familiar to stay with them while older children need daily visits by somebody familiar to them. Children also need to be encouraged to talk about their experience and feelings. Your involvement in their care will help your child maintain his/her daily schedule while retaining some degree of routine.

Working with the Hospital Care Team

While your child is in the hospital, you will meet many different health professionals ranging from cardiologists, electrophysiologists and geneticists to nutritionist, gastroenterologist, occupational and physical therapists and feeding specialists. You can ensure that your child receives the best medical care by being proactive. You are the best person to interpret your child’s needs and wants and to inform doctors when something seems out of the ordinary.

Here are some basic tips to keep in mind when dealing with various health professionals:

  • Various medical professionals may be in and out of your child’s room to perform tests or gather information. Do not be afraid to ask questions about your child’s treatment and procedures.

  • The best time to update doctors on your child's condition and bring up any concerns you may have is during their daily patient rounds.

  • Advocate for your child and be assertive when necessary. If you feel that your child needs additional medical intervention or consultations with specialist, share your thoughts with your child’s medical team.

  • Get to know the nursing staff on a personal leve and inform them of what comforts and upsets your child in case you need to be away.

  • Report your observations or recap the major day's issues with each new nurse that comes on shift. It is always good to reemphasize what you feel are the key issues to be addressed for your child.

  • If you leave for any length of time, tell the shift nurse where you be, when you plan to return, and leave a phone number so they can easily reach you if there is an emergency.

When your child is in the hospital, it can be a challenging time for the entire family. Review the Getting Support page for some practical tips on getting help while your child is in the hospital.

Emergency Care

If your child is admitted to intensive care because of complications related to his/her heart condition or requires an emergency procedure, there will be additional considerations for managing your child’s care. For more information on emergency hospitalization, please click here.

Preparing to Go Home 

 

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