Preparing Yourself for Your Child's Hospital Stay Learn as Much as Possible About Your Child’s Illness and Treatment Ask your child’s doctor or nurse for information packets and a list of resources, including library materials and websites. As you review the information, make a list of questions to ask him or her. Don't be afraid to ask questions and advocate for your child. Ask a Medical Librarian or visit The Information Station in the lobby of Strong Memorial Hospital. Learn as Much as You Can About the Hospital Take a tour on the computer. If you would like to come to the hospital for a tour, contact a Child Life Specialist at (585) 275-9878. She will take you to see the patient units, have you meet some of the staff and let you learn more about us prior to your child’s admission. Get specifics about what to expect. For example, if your child will be having a test or surgery, you may want to find out: What will happen before the procedure? How long will it take? What equipment will be used and is it loud or scary for a child? What will the procedure feel like? Will your child be awake during the procedure? What will happen after the procedure? What will your child look like afterwards? Scars? Swelling? Bandages? When can you be with your child? The whole time? In recovery? Will there be pain and how will it be managed? Will your child’s activity be restricted? For how long? How much, if any, school will your child miss? Will your child need a tutor? We have created photo tours to help you know what to expect if you your child needs an X-ray, CT-Scan or MRI or if they need surgery. Be a Support for Your Child You are your child’s biggest support, so we welcome you and encourage you to be at the hospital as much as you can. You may need to: Arrange for time off from work or for a more flexible schedule. Line up people you trust to stay with your other children. Find family or friends who are willing help with day to day details such as carpools, laundry. Make arrangements to stay close to the hospital. One adult family member can stay overnight in your child’s hospital room. The Ronald McDonald House can provide inexpensive lodging nearby for immediate family members who live outside of Monroe County on a first come/first served basis. Talk to your doctor’s office or social worker about making a referral for you. Plan for Ways to Manage Your Stress Parents who take care of themselves are better able to care for their children. Get enough sleep. Ask if there are parents of other children with similar medical conditions who would be willing to talk to you. Ask if there are support groups you can join. Write about your child’s medical experiences in a journal or create a web site to share information with family members. Take breaks from caring for your child when possible. Take advantage of the activity programs and the pediatric volunteers. Identify ways to relax that work for you like deep breathing, meditation, exercise or music. If you start to feel overwhelmed, do not be afraid to ask for professional support. Your child’s nurse can contact a social worker or chaplain on your behalf.