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What to Expect at Your Hospital Stay


One parent bed is available in your child’s room. Your nurse will show you how to set it up and bring in bedding. A maximum of two people may stay the night; they must be either a parent or over 18 years old and immediate family members. No one may share the patient’s bed or sleep on the floor.

A bathroom and shower for patient and parent use is available either in the patient room or is closely accessible. There are also public restrooms and a tub room that will be pointed out on your unit tour. We have towels and hygiene items available if needed. If you are not from the area and need a hotel, a social worker can help arrange lodging outside the hospital.

Wireless internet is available and access instructions will be provided.

DVDs and XBOX games are available for checkout at the clerk’s desk. The necessary equipment is either available in your room or available for checkout. Please return these items when you are finished using them.

Playrooms are available for patient use. If your child is unable to leave his room, child-life specialists will provide age-appropriate toys and activities at the bedside. Ask your nurse to page the child life specialist in your unit.

Phones are available in all patient care rooms. Outgoing calls can be made by dialing “9” to get an outside line. For long distance, please ask a nurse for a long distance code.

Food Services

When your child’s diet is determined, room service will deliver a menu to your room. Room service is available between 7 am and 7 pm and can be reached by dialing the number on the printed menu. There are also drinks and snacks available on the floor for patient use. Families may also order a guest tray that can be delivered to your room.

The hospital cafeteria hours vary by location and are listed in the parent resource materials given to you on admission.

Safety & Security

Your child has been assigned a special code to help provide safety and security. You will need to have this code to access information about your child over the phone. No information will be released unless the code is given.

You will receive a parent identification band when you arrive to the room. The code is the last four numbers on your parent band, and a member of the patient care team will locate it for you. This band must be worn to take the patient off the unit and to gain access to the hospital after 10pm. Patients must wear their own identification bands at all times.

For the safety of your child, the crib/bed rails MUST be up whenever your child is in the crib/bed. Please let us know when you are leaving so we can check on the safety of your child.

Nursing Routines & Rounds

Nursing Routines

Nurses usually change shifts at 7 am and 7 pm and for approximately 30 minutes they will be busy giving report to the oncoming nurse. If you have an immediate need during shift change, please make it known. If the need can wait a short time, please discuss it with the nurse after shift change is completed. If your child is in the Newborn or Pediatric Critical Care Unit, families are not allowed to visit during change of shift report.

Vital signs will be monitored every four hours, unless specified. They will also be monitored during the night time hours. Your nurse will explain the monitors and what we will be watching for with your child.

Your care team needs to keep track of what your child eats and drinks. Also, please save all diapers or have your child use the urinal/hat to collect all urine. A record is kept to assess if your child is getting enough fluids.

Please check with a nurse before entering an isolation room. The nurse will explain the type of isolation and any precautions that should be taken. Good hand washing is essential before entering and after leaving the room.

All medications must be ordered by your physician. If you bring medications from home with you, please show them to the nurse. You will be advised what to do with them. All medications must be given or supervised by a nurse. Please do not give any medications without authorization from your physician or nurse.

For nursing assistance, press the nurse call light button, which will be shown to you when your child is admitted to the hospital.

Team Rounds

Every morning and sometimes again in the early evening, the physician staff makes rounds (walking from room to room) to assess daily progress and update your child's plan of care for that day.

Physicians and other team members will come by either individually or in a group to examine your child and develop the plan of care with the help of you, your child’s nurse, and other members of the patient care team. You are encouraged to be present for rounds.

At the completion of rounds, your child's physician should be available to answer questions about your child's progress. If your doctor isn't able to talk to you then, ask him or her to indicate another time of the day to talk about your child. There is typically a dry erase board in your child’s room where you can keep track of your questions.


Parents may be at the hospital at any time. We encourage you to stay with your child as much as possible. Short visits from family and friends are usually good for your child and are encouraged. Visiting hours are until 9 pm.

What to Expect at Check-Out

We will strive to anticipate everything you will need at home well in advance of the day of your discharge. Please help us by anticipating your needs and communicating them to your nurse or physician throughout your child’s hospital stay. Please come prepared with any last minute questions that you might have on the day of discharge.

Case managers are available to assist in arranging for any equipment or home care services that that may be necessary when your child goes home. We can also assist you by filling your child’s prescriptions prior to discharge. You may also take your prescriptions with you to fill in them in the pharmacy of your choice.

When you go home, you will be provided with detailed discharge and follow-up instructions as well as information about your child’s illness and how to manage it home. A copy of the discharge instructions will be faxed to your child’s primary care provider so that this information is available when he or she sees your child in follow-up.

Appropriately sized car seats are required for all children 8 years and younger and 80 pounds or less. Assistance is available to insure that your child’s car seat fits appropriately.


Primary Children's Hospital

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