Navigating the Hospital
If you have a seriously ill child, you may spend quite a bit of time in the hospital. The hospital is a good place to be as your child will be safe and cared for. But it is also a difficult place to be because you are away from your home and the rest of your family. It is also a really busy place with lots of people in different roles who are going to talk to you about your child’s care, and there are usually, at some point, communication issues. Here is a guide with some tips we’ve put together based on interviews with a parent advocate, a pediatric hospital chaplain, and multiple parents.
The hospital feels like a foreign land. You may feel disoriented.
Most parents who aren’t medical providers haven’t spent a lot of time in the hospital, especially with their child. So when you enter a hospital for the first few times with your child, it can feel like a very foreign place. It looks big. People are moving quickly. People talk quickly, and they use medical language that may be new to you. You also don’t really want to be there because it means there is something wrong with your child’s health. Being in this strange place because your child is unwell can make you feel stressed and anxious. This is a natural response.