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How to help a child understand what goes on at a hospital

If you break your arm, fall off your bike, or have trouble breathing due to asthma, you may need to visit the hospital. You may need IV fluids or surgery to remove your tonsils.
While it might seem daunting to visit a hospital for treatment, the nurses and doctors are there to make people feel better. Continue reading to learn more about what happens in a hospital.

Sometimes your doctor may decide you need to be admitted to the Hospital. That means you will have to stay there overnight. Either your doctor needs to learn about your condition or determine that you need surgery or special medicine. Your doctor will contact the hospital to inform them that you are coming. You will then go to the admissions counter to check in.

A second way kids can be admitted to the hospital might be through the emergency department. The emergency room (or ER), is a place you can go if you feel unwell or are injured. This is especially true if your parents or doctor think you require immediate medical attention. You will be taken care of by the nurses and doctors in the ER. If you need to be admitted to the hospital for an extended period of time, someone from the hospital will bring you and your family to your hospital room.

Your mom or dad will fill out several papers when you arrive at the hospital. Your name, address, telephone number, birth date, as well as any other information such allergies or medication, are all important to the hospital. There are likely to be many questions that you will be asked, sometimes multiple times, such as your name, birth date, and pain. You can ask your parents, or the nurse or doctor taking care of yourself, if you don’t understand something.

Your Room

After you arrive at the hospital, you will have your own room or you can share it with another child. The bed in your room will have buttons to move it up or down. To give you privacy, a curtain can be pulled over your bed. There will be lights that can be turned on or off. If you have any medical issues, there will also likely be a button that will dial the nurse. Your room will likely have a toilet.

Intclinics features information on hospitals and Emergency Rooms – visit them today.

There are many rooms in hospitals that have both a TV and a telephone for you to use while you are there. For those who are only going to be there for a short time, it is possible to bring home things such as photos, books, and toys. You can also put up posters or favorite pictures on the walls around the bed. Your favorite blanket and pillow may be helpful to make you feel more comfortable.
Your Clothes

Many hospitals allow you to wear whatever clothes you wish, including your pajamas and bathrobe. Sometimes, a special hospital gown is required to allow the doctor or nurse to perform an examination. You can either bring your slipper socks, or the hospital will provide them.
Your Family

Nearly all hospitals will allow your parents to stay in your room while you sleep. Sisters, brothers and grandparents can visit you during the day as long as there’s not too many people. They may even bring balloons!

Hospital Staff

From the moment that you arrive, until the moment you are ready to go, you’ll be surrounded by many people in the hospital. In fact, you may meet as many 30 people in your first day.

You will meet nurses to help you settle in and show you around the hospital floor. Nursing staff will look after you 24 hours a day, every day. They’ll keep an eye on you all day to check how you feel and see if there are any issues. They’ll check your heartbeat, temperature, blood pressure, and breathing every few hours. While you are sick, the nurses can also give you any medication you might need.

The hospital has many doctors. Your doctor might be your regular doctor. If the hospital is just for kids, there will likely be medical students and residents. Residents are doctors who have received special training in caring for children.

You might also see a medical specialist, which is a doctor who has expertise in a particular type of medical problem. For example, a cardiologist can be a specialist who takes care of the heart.

You might also see a specialist in asthma or an allergist if you need to be admitted for treatment.

Transportation people will transport you from one place or another; volunteers can bring coffee to your parents, read to you, or make videos. Therapy staff will teach you how to use crutches and other equipment if you require them.

There are child life specialists in hospitals. Their job is to ensure that children in hospitals understand the environment and make them feel more at home. A child life specialist can help explain to children what a nurse or doctor will do. These experts can help you feel more confident about dealing with these situations.

Get Tests

Some tests will be performed in the hospital. Not the ones you would get in school. A blood test is a procedure that involves taking blood from one of your veins. Although it may be uncomfortable, the blood will not hurt too much. Other types of tests may require you to give urine (pee) and poop.

Sometimes an Xray, CAT scan or MRI is required. These tests take pictures of specific parts of your body using a special machine. This allows doctors to view your body’s bones and tissues, and can help them diagnose any problems or make you feel better. A video can be shown to help you understand a test, or you can ask your doctor/nurse about it.

If you are going to have surgery (that’s another name for having an operation), you will meet an anesthesiologist (say: an-us-THEE-zee-ahl-uh-jist) before the operation. An anesthesiologist helps you to sleep through the operation by giving you special medication. So you don’t feel pain during surgery.

Because you can’t eat breakfast on the day of surgery you will not be able to have it. Don’t worry, your body will receive fluids through an IV. An IV is a tiny tube which carries medication or fluids into your body via a vein. Usually, it’s found in your arm.

A transport person will bring you to the operating area, where you will receive anesthesia. The staff at the hospital will explain all of the details while you’re awake. Ask!

When you wake up from your operation you will be either back in your bed or in a special recovery space. In this room, nurses can continue to check on you and make sure that you are okay.

Keeping busy

Playrooms are available in most hospitals. You will find toys, books and arts, as well as games. There will be someone to help you find the right activity. Someone can bring toys to your bedroom if you’re unable to visit the playroom.

Many hospitals have video or TV games and some have computers (with games!) These can be brought to your room. Special visitors such as clowns or stories characters are often welcome in hospitals for children.
Maintaining a high standard of schoolwork

There are several ways to stay on top of schoolwork while in hospital. Children who stay in children’s hospitals for a long time have access to a classroom and a teacher.

Your parents can send schoolwork to you home or to your hospital for shorter stays if you’re feeling up to it. If you don’t feel well and can’t do the schoolwork, your school will be understanding and allow you to return later.
Being Nervous

Normal to feel nervous or even scared when visiting the hospital. Keep in mind:

Your family will be right there with you.
The same is happening to many other children at the hospital.
Many people can help you, including nurses and doctors. Do not be afraid to ask questions! Don’t be afraid to ask!
After spending some time in hospital, you can feel better.