CHI Health St. Francis provides outstanding, personalized care for infants, children, and adolescents who require hospital stays. Our beautiful facilities make it convenient for parents to be close at hand, and physicians and nurses keep families involved in every step of their child’s care.
Parents Guide to Having a Child in the Hospital
Your Hospital Team
At St. Francis, a team of professionals will deliver excellent medical care to your child and support the family as well.
Your child’s doctor may be a pediatrician, a family medicine doctor, a surgeon, or another specialist. The doctors, nurses, and other staff work together as a team to provide the necessary care and treatment for our pediatric patients. Doctors make daily visits to the pediatrics unit and communicate with the health care team to provide the best possible care for your child.
The nurses that care for pediatric patients have special training to care for critically-ill children of all ages. Our nurses work 12-hour shifts beginning at either 6 a.m. or 6 p.m.
Your child’s condition may require care from other staff members such as dietitians, occupational or physical therapists, or respiratory therapists. It is also common to have tests like blood work or X-rays conducted by our staff from our laboratory or radiology department. Most lab and radiology tests are performed between 5 a.m. and 7 a.m. We understand that this interrupts your child’s rest, but it’s necessary so we can have test results ready for the doctors when they visit patients.
Family members’ presence and participation in their child’s care during his or her illness is essential to the child’s well-being. You are encouraged to remain at your child’s bedside as much as possible.
Bedside Shift Report
It is very helpful to have parents in the patient’s room at bedside shift report, which happens around 6-6:30 a.m. and 6-6:30 p.m. Bedside shift report is when the nurse from one shift “hands-off” care of the patient to the nurse starting the next shift. Important information is exchanged during shift report, and it’s an opportunity for parents to discuss the child’s care with the caregivers, provide information, share their perspective or ask questions.
The staff will be there to educate you regarding the care of the child and will be happy to answer questions. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns you have. If the nursing staff caring for your child has not been able to help you with your concerns, please contact:
Our pediatric unit promotes family-centered care, and family and friends are welcome to visit at the discretion of the parent, nurse, and physician. Please keep in mind that we want to promote a healing environment for all our patients. There are times when excess noise can be detrimental to a child’s well-being. At times it may be necessary for us to ask extra visitors to step out to allow the child to rest or in order for the staff to complete a procedure. All visitors must remain in the patient’s room or designated family areas. Children must be supervised at all times by an adult and visits should be kept brief.
Some patients have conditions that require them to be in isolation. The type of illness determines the type of isolation needed and this is communicated on the signs outside the patient’s door. Visitors should NOT enter these rooms until they have visited with the nurse. During outbreaks of contagious illnesses such as RSV or rotavirus, we strongly advise children, especially infants, to not visit the pediatric unit because they are at a greater risk of contracting illnesses.
Hand washing is the single best way to prevent the spread of disease. We ask that everyone wash their hands either with soap and water or hand sanitizer upon entering the patient’s room and leaving the room. People who have a cough, fever, or body aches should not visit the hospital. When parents are coughing, a mask will be provided for them to wear. Visitors may also be asked to wear a mask if the patient is contagious or if more specific visitation criteria are in effect. Please pay special attention to the signs outside the child’s room.
The monitor and machines all have visible and audible alarms. These alarms help us to follow the patient’s progress closely. They help alert the nurse and other staff members of minor and major changes in the patient. Some of the alarms simply tell the nurse that an IV medication is complete, while others notify the staff of a change in the patient that needs to be addressed immediately. We will do our best to explain what these alarms mean. If at any time you are concerned, please don’t hesitate to turn your call light on. If an IV pump alarms, please call your nurse.
Managing pain is a crucial part of our job. Parents also play a critical role in the pain management of children. We will be educating you how to best help your child through any pain that is caused by the illness and the treatment of the illness. Please don’t hesitate to ask us questions.
Intake and Output
In many circumstances, it is important that we have an accurate calculation of how much a patient eats and drinks, and how much they void and stool. For diaper-dependent patients, we weigh their diapers. Please don’t throw diapers away! When you change a diaper, put your call light on and we will come in and weigh the diaper so that it can be recorded and communicated with the doctors.
During daytime hours, we will be rounding approximately every hour. This allows us to check on the patient’s comfort level, IV status, bathroom needs, and room condition. Please let us know if there is anything we can do for you. We want your hospital experience to be the best it can be. In order to allow you and your child to sleep at night, we will be rounding every two hours.
Often, patients are weighed daily. Babies under 1 year of age are weighed after midnight, prior to a feeding. We will coordinate this with you to help ensure that your infant gets as much uninterrupted sleep as possible.
In order to prevent falls and other injuries, hospital policy doesn’t allow parents to sleep in the bed with their child.