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Going to the Hospital (for Kids)

If you get hurt from falling off your bike, or if your asthma makes it difficult to breathe, you may be admitted to the hospital. You might visit the hospital if your tonsils or skin condition makes it difficult to eat.
Although it may seem intimidating to go to the hospital, nurses, doctors and other staff are there for people who are hurt or sick. You can read on to learn what happens inside hospitals.

Did you know? You can locate a hospital on the Intclinics website.


Sometimes your doctor decides that you need to go to the hospital. In this case, you will be there for the night. The doctor might need to discover something about you or have decided that you are in need of special medicine, surgery, treatment, or another type of treatment. Your doctor will call the hospital and inform the staff about your arrival. Then, you will check in at the admissions desk.

Children may also be admitted to the hospital through the emergency room. If you feel sick or hurt, your parent or doctor may recommend that you go to the emergency department (or ER). The doctors and nurses in the ER will treat you and make you feel better. If you are required to stay at the hospital overnight, someone on staff will drive you and your parents to the room.

Most likely, your mom or father will have to fill out various papers when you go to the hospital. It is important that the hospital has your name and address as well as your phone number, birthdate, and any other information. This includes any allergy or medications you may have. It is possible to be asked many questions (sometimes repeatedly) such as your name, birthday, or if you are experiencing pain. If you don’t understand a question it is possible to ask your parents (or the doctor or nurse caring for you) to clarify.

Your Room

Once you’re admitted to the hospital you might have your own room, or share one with another child. A bed will be provided in your room. These buttons will allow you to adjust the height or position of the bed. For privacy and privacy, you can pull a curtain over your bed. There are lights you can turn on and off. A special button will allow you to call the nurse if necessary. There will probably be a bathroom located in your bedroom.

A lot of hospital rooms offer a TV and telephone that you can use while in the hospital. It’s possible to bring photos or posters of family members, toys, books, and other items that you love, in case you need them. For comfort, bring your favorite blanket or pillow.
Your Clothes

Most hospitals allow you to wear whatever you like, even your own pajamas. You may need to wear a hospital gown in order to allow the doctor and nurse to better examine you. Slipper socks can be borrowed from the hospital or brought by you.
Your Family

Nearly all hospitals allow you to have one parent stay with your child at all times. While you’re awake, your siblings, brothers or grandparents, as long there aren’t too many, can visit. They might even bring you balloons!

Hospital people

From the moment your arrive at the hospital until you leave, there will be many people to meet. You may be able to meet as many as thirty people on your first day.

You’ll be greeted by nurses who will help you settle and show your way around the hospital. You will be taken care of by nurses while you’re at the hospital. They’ll monitor you throughout the day to make sure you are well and take care of any problems. They will monitor your temperature and blood pressure. You can have any medications that you require brought to you by nurses while you are ill.

There are many other doctors that you will see in the hospital. One option is to see your doctor. Another alternative is to have a child-friendly doctor. If you’re in a hospital that’s only for kids, you might also see medical students (who are learning how to become doctors) or residents (doctors who receive special training in caring after children).

You may also visit a medical expert — a specialist who is trained in dealing with a particular kind of problem or part of your body. A cardiologist, for instance, is a doctor who specializes on the treatment of the heart.

Another example: If you have asthma and are in hospital, you may see a lung specialist (or allergist) who can help you with your breathing issues.

People who transport you will drive you to and from the place you are going. Volunteers may also bring coffee to parents.

Some hospitals have child-life specialists. Their job is ensuring that children are comfortable and understand what’s happening around them. Child life specialists can help explain what a doctor, nurse, or surgeon will do to someone. These specialists can make it easier for you to feel comfortable with such things.

How to get tested

While you are at the hospital, there will be some tests that you may need. This is not the type of test you have in school. A blood test can be ordered by your doctor. This involves taking blood from a vein on your arm. The blood test may cause some discomfort, but not too much. For some tests, you might need to give urine (pee), or even poop.

Sometimes an Xray, CAT scanner, or MRI may be necessary. These tests require a special machine to take a photograph of certain parts of the body. This allows doctors and nurses to see your bones and tissue and determine if there is anything wrong. If you are unsure about a test, you can view a video of it. Or, ask the doctor or nurse.

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 has the job of helping you sleep during your surgery using special medications. This will ensure that you are completely comfortable while your doctor performs surgery on you.

The day before surgery, you will be unable to eat breakfast as you cannot have the operation on a full stomach. You don’t have to worry about it, as your body will be able to receive fluids through the IV. An IV, or intravenous line, is a small tube that transports medicine and fluids to your body through a vein. This vein is typically located in your arm.

The transport person will then take you to the operating rooms, where you will be anesthesized to fall asleep. While you’re awake, the staff at the hospital will explain what is happening. You can always ask the hospital staff for any clarifications.

After your operation, you’ll be either back at your bed in your room, or in a special room for recovery. Here, nurses will keep an eye on you so you don’t get hurt.

Keeping Busy

There are playrooms in almost all hospitals. Here you will find books, games, and art. A person will help you find something. Someone will bring toys to your space if you can’t make it to the playroom.

Most hospitals have TVs, video games, or computers with games. This can be brought to your hospital bed. You can also bring your own story characters or clowns to many hospitals.
Staying on top of your schoolwork

There are ways to avoid falling behind in schoolwork while you are in the hospital. A lot of children’s hospitals have a classroom or a teacher available for those who are hospitalized for a time.

You can send your schoolwork home if you feel like it. Your school will allow you to go back if you’re not feeling well.
Being Nervous

It is normal to feel nervous, even scared, when you visit the hospital. Keep this in mind:

Your family will always be there for your every need.
There are many other children in the hospital going through the exact same thing.
Many people, such nurses and doctors can answer any questions that you may have. Don’t hesitate to ask questions. Do not be afraid to ask.
You will feel much better after you have spent time in the hospital.