http://www.advertisingamanda.com/drjoebarber2/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/drjoebarber-mainlogo2-1-300x124.png 0 0 Dr. Joe Barber http://www.advertisingamanda.com/drjoebarber2/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/drjoebarber-mainlogo2-1-300x124.png Dr. Joe Barber2013-05-05 17:12:262013-05-05 17:12:26Hospitalization Tips
Here are some tips to improve your child’s hospital stay:
- Bring any medications your child takes with you if you go to the emergency room or if your child is admitted to the hospital.
- Write down your doctor’s name and address/ phone number and give it to the doctor who admits your child to the hospital.
- Bring a notebook with you and write down the name and phone number of every doctor you speak to at the hospital. Ask them to write down their findings and any suggestions or recommendations they have for you and your child.
- Take care of yourself. Parents often neglect their own needs when their child is admitted to the hospital. Make sure you bring any medications you may be taking, a change of clothes and a basic self-care kit with a brush or comb, toothbrush, toothpaste and hand sanitizer. Make sure you eat enough. Bring a healthy snack if you can since you may miss a meal.
- Keep washing your hands and use hand sanitizer. Viruses are not eliminated as well with hand sanitizers as by washing them down the drain while hand washing.
- Bring a list of your child’s immunizations and try to remember the last time your child was seen by a doctor and the last yearly check-up.
- There is nothing wrong with being a strong advocate for your child. Watch what medications are given and when. If you see something you are surprised about or do not feel comfortable with a situation or treatment immediately speak up. Ask to speak to a nurse or doctor and voice your concerns. Write down the names of all the nurses and staff caring for your child.
- Always ask what tests or studies are being performed on your child and why they are being done. Write this down in your notebook with the result of the test or study.
- When you think of a question you want to ask your doctor or nurse write it down in your notebook. Leave a space so you can write down the answer when your questioned is answered. Make sure you write down the name of the person who answers the question.
- Pay special attention to any medications ordered for your child and verify that is the medication being given to your child when the nurse administers the medication.
- If your child is receiving intravenous medication or fluids and there is an alarm do not worry. It may need to be plugged in or a fluid may need to be changed. Push the nurse notification button or walk out to the nursing station to notify staff of the beeping.
- If your child is on a heart rate or oxygen monitor and there is an alarm contact the nurse immediately. If your child looks fine then it likely is a routine alarm and does not signal any major problem.
- If oxygen is used for your child it is important to help the respiratory therapy and nursing staff find the best way to administer the oxygen. Nasal cannula oxygen is preferred. This is a small tube that goes directly into the nostrils and wraps around your child’s head. Most children get used to this sensation soon after it is started.
- If a nebulizer is used to administer medication it is important your child holds the end of the tubing (T-piece) firmly in the mouth and breathes through the mouth and not the nose. If a T-piece cannot be used then a mask is used. Blow by treatments are given in the rare situation where your child becomes upset to the point of added respiratory distress.
- If your child is in a gated crib with side rails make sure they are always up and securely fastened.
- Always ask the floor nurse before allowing a child to sleep with you in a chair or bed rather than sleeping in their own crib or bed.
- Place your chair close to your child’s bed or crib so they can see you and you can touch them.
- Make sure all hospital staff in contact with your child wash their hands or use hand sanitizer before touching your child or administering any medication.
- Do not be worried if hospital staff wear gloves when they come in contact with your child. This is necessary if there are concerns about infection. They might also use a mask and a gown and this is standard practice in certain situations.
- Do not worry if a team of doctors comes to examine your child. In teaching hospitals care is provided by a team that consists of an attending physician and several residents. The number of doctors present does not indicate the severity of your child’s illness.
- Change of shift times (7am/ 4pm/ 11pm) are especially important due to staff changes. Find out the names of the staff on the new shift and write down their names.
- Try to have a family member stay with your child if you need to leave the hospital for a brief period. If your child has an extended stay then consider working with your spouse or another family member to tag team caretaking and allow everyone to go home to rest, eat, sleep, take a shower and change clothes. This allows parents to return to the hospital refreshed and ready to deal with any stress their child is experiencing.
- When you leave your child’s room always tell them where you are going and when you will return. If they are asleep make sure someone is in the room until you return. It can be frightening for a child to fall asleep with a parent present only to wake up alone after the parent left the room for a cup of coffee or a bathroom break.
- Ask the nurse if any volunteer support staff is available if you need to leave the room.
- Prepare yourself to identify and respond to any stress your child deals with during the hospitalization or after the hospitalization. An admission can be a very scary experience for a child. Your love, support and stability allows hospitalization and post hospitalization psychological issues to me dealt with.