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

Every Children’s hospital patient, including your child, is assigned a nurse case manager. That person will make sure your child has everything necessary for ongoing care following discharge from the hospital.

Nurse case manager services

Nurse case managers:

  • Seek preapproval from your insurance company (i.e., for medicine and home health equipment)
  • Help you manage your child’s care after he leaves the hospital
  • Work with your child’s medical team to improve care
  • Serve as a resource for you and your child after he leaves the hospital

Your child’s nurse case manager also may:

  • Meet with you within 24 hours of admission to review your child’s health history
  • Review your child’s medicine
  • Coordinate resources for your child, such as specialty day care, clinics and therapists
  • Manage communication among your child’s doctor and home care providers

Talk with your child’s case manager about any other needs he may have.

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.

Family Advisory Council

We know that the parents of our patients can bring unique insights to the care we provide. Children’s is tapping into this resource with its Family Advisory Council (FAC), a collaborative venture with parents that gives them a formal opportunity to help us enhance our caregiving efforts.

Made up of parents of Children's patients—both past and present—as well as staff members from various divisions of our hospital, FAC provides us with an invaluable patient/family perspective on our care.

 

Mission

FAC has a clearly defined purpose, centered on enhancing children’s lives and promoting relationship-based care that:

  • Helps improve relationships between patients, families and staff
  • Creates a welcome forum for family input
  • Gives families the opportunity to review recommendations referred to the council by hospital staff
  • Offers families the chance to have input in program and policy development
  • Provides an outlet to channel information and the needs and concerns of patient/families to hospital departments

The council meets regularly to help guide Children's on a variety of topics—from hospital parking and patient billing to hospital services, procedures and amenities. FAC members serve for at least two years, attend bimonthly daytime meetings and carry out requests as needed.

To join FAC, fill out an application

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