Getting Ready to Go Home

Our focus on our patients doesn’t end after you and your child go home.Once your child’s treatment is completed in the hospital, he will be discharged.

Be sure to confirm the discharge day with the doctor before sharing the news with your child. This will help avoid disappointment if the discharge day has to be delayed.

Before discharge occurs, your child’s doctor will talk to you about follow-up care and future doctor’s appointments. The nurse will also give you home care instructions.

Some things you may want to discuss with the doctor include:

  • What is my child’s current medicine list?
  • Do I need any information for newly prescribed medicines?
  • When can my child return to school or childcare?
  • Can my child take part in sports or physical activities?

Be sure to arrange transportation home for you and your child. Also, remember to bring clothes for your child to wear home, as well as a suitcase or shopping bag for other items. Each unit manages discharge differently, so please ask your child’s nurse how to check out of the hospital.

Case management

Some Children’s patients are assigned a nurse case manager while they are in the hospital. A nurse case manager works with your child’s doctors and nurses to help provide a smooth stay while in the hospital and an easier time returning home. They also may help you, your child and your child’s care team decide what resources are needed when your child is discharged from the hospital to meet his ongoing needs. 

Nurse case manager services

Nurse case managers:

  • Bring together the right people from different hospital departments to manage your child’s care (ex: pharmacy, school nurses).
  • Work with your child’s medical team to improve care.
  • Talk to home health and insurance companies.
  • Coordinate with community resources for your child’s home healthcare needs.

When your child’s treatment is complete, your child and family may need support to go back home.  A nurse case manager will:

  • Work with your nurse to create a home care plan called an “After Visit Summary” to list out planned services needed.
  • Help you learn about home health agencies that can provide care for your child (if home care is needed).
  • Arrange equipment, medicine and other care when your child is sent home.

Speak to your child’s nurse case manager for other questions you may have about your child’s care. 

Care at Home

Your child will have adjustments to make to life after the hospital. These include medicine and possibly other treatment regimens, as well as figuring out how to resume a normal routine after being away from home.

Behavior issues

After being in the hospital, children may act differently than they normally do. You may see changes in eating, sleeping or playing habits. To help your child cope:

  • Get your child back to a normal routine quickly, and give him tasks he can manage
  • Don’t make your child the center of attention because of his illness
  • Be kind, firm and consistent, even with discipline; this lets your child know he’s back in his normal situation
  • Be honest with your child to maintain trust
  • Let your child talk about his feelings, illness and hospital stay
  • Let your child act out feelings through play
  • Don’t leave a young child by himself for long periods of time or overnight until he has adjusted to being home
  • Call the Children’s Child Life department at 404-785-6337 if you have any questions

Giving your child medicine

Your child’s doctor may give you a prescription for medicine that will need to be filled at a drugstore. When giving medicine or treatments at home, remember to:

  • Re-read the label on the medicine bottle when preparing each dose
  • Get your medicine at the same drugstore, so the pharmacist knows your child’s history
  • Give the medicine to your child exactly as prescribed
  • Call your child’s doctor if your child is not getting better

Ask your pharmacist to double-check refills if they do not look the same as the medicine you got the last time. Also ask the pharmacists to tell you:

  • About your child’s medicine label
  • The best way to measure liquids and powders
  • The medicine’s side effects

Home healthcare assistance

Your child may require continued care at home beyond what you can provide. Federal law HR 2543 requires that hospitals inform patients and families of home health agencies that may be available to offer home health services for their child. A case manager will help you in planning your child’s care at home and finding out which home health agencies are included in your medical coverage.

Going Back to School

Children’s case managers can help school-age children (5 to 18 years of age) and their families with school re-entry needs.

Camp Out With Us

Camping is an experience that all children should be able to enjoy, which is why Children’s collaborates with organizations like Camp Twin Lakes to make camping happen for seriously ill and disabled children. We have several camps where many of our patients with certain medical conditions can go after they leave the hospital to have fun, build confidence and meet other kids with similar conditions.

Learn more about Children's camps