Tips to survive a hospital stay

By Devyani Borade on April 20, 2016

Is your child getting sick?

If your child begins to show symptoms of being seriously under the weather, the following details will be helpful if you have to go to the hospital:

  • what your child has eaten
  • their behaviour (playful, cranky, sleepy, listless)
  • if they’re running a fever
  • bowel movements (normal or irregular)
  • number of wet diapers
  • immunization record
  • any allergies
  • any recent medications (over-the-counter, prescription or natural remedies)

What to bring to the hospital

  • identification
  • diapers and wipes
  • clothing
  • toothbrush/toothpaste
  • bottles and burp cloths
  • regular medications
  • loose change for vending machines
  • plastic bags for garbage
  • notepad and pen
  • folder or large envelope for paperwork or important information

Soumya Sankaran recommends keeping a file of medical history ready to avoid having to scramble at the last moment. “Don’t forget the documents: health cards, immunization and allergy records. Toys, music and videos can be extremely useful to distract your child during injections or examinations. Make sure you carry your phone and charger.” Also, many hospitals don’t have WiFi, so don’t count on being able to stay connected to work from the waiting room.

Communication: Pointers For Parents And Hospital Staff

Dr. Alexander Sasha Dubrovsky, a pediatrician at Montreal Children’s Hospital, recommends parents and health care providers communicate using a Mutual Learning Mindset. “It’s about reframing the way you think by always taking into account someone else’s perspective, which in the end is the ideal way to build a partnership between hospitals, patients and families. With this kind of attitude and by choosing our words carefully and thoughtfully, the stress and miscommunication that often follow these types of conversations can be greatly reduced. At the same time, this mindset can also help build trust and allow a team to move forward.”

Try Using Phrases Such As…

  • “I propose ................................................ What do you think?”
  • “What is your main concern with ............................................?”
  • “I’m curious about ............................... Tell me more about that.”
  • “I was surprised when you said/did .............because.................”
  • “My worry with this option is ....................................................”
  • “I’d like to talk about .................................... Is this a good time?”

 

Originally published in ParentsCanada magazine, April/May 2016.


By Devyani Borade| April 20, 2016

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