Most hospital stays are negative experiences for children and their families. However, a few things can be done to make the stay more pleasant for everyone involved. Here are 15 tips to help you get the most out of your child’s hospital stay:
Tip #1 Don’t be afraid to ask questions
If you don’t understand something, don’t hesitate to ask the doctors or nurses for clarification. This is your child’s health on the line, so you have a right to be involved in their care. Ask questions such as:
- What is the diagnosis?
- What are the treatment options?
- What are the risks and side effects of each treatment option?
Tip #2 Get a second opinion
If you’re not comfortable with the treatment plan, get a second opinion from another doctor. This is your child’s health on the line, so you have a right to be involved in their care. You could even bring your child to various urgent care centers to get different opinions.
Tip #3 Advocate for your child
Speak up if you feel like your child is not getting the best possible care. This is your child’s health on the line, so you have a right to be involved in their care. Don’t let the doctors or nurses steamroll you. If you need to, get a lawyer involved.
Tip #4 Keep a list of medications
Keep track of all the medications your child is taking, including over-the-counter drugs and herbal supplements. This will help the doctors and nurses ensure your child is getting the best possible care. Plus, it’s always a good idea to have a copy of your child’s medical history on hand.
Tip #5 Bring along comfort items
If your child has a favorite stuffed animal or blanket, bring it along to the hospital. This can help your child feel more comfortable in an unfamiliar setting, especially if they’re stuck in the hospital for an extended period.
Tip #6 Try to stay positive
It can be challenging to stay positive when your child is sick, but it’s essential to try. Positive thinking can help your child feel better both physically and emotionally. And it can also help you cope with the stress of having a sick child.
Tip #7 Get some rest
It may be challenging to get much rest in a hospital, but you need to make an effort. Getting adequate sleep will help you cope better with the stress of a hospital stay, which will, in turn, benefit your child.
Tip #8 Eat healthily
Eating healthy foods will help you maintain your strength and energy during a hospital stay. This may not be easy, but healthy options are usually available in the hospital cafeteria. And if you’re getting tired of hospital food, ask a friend or family member to bring you some home-cooked meals.
Tip #9 Take breaks
Caring for a sick child can be emotionally and physically draining. It’s essential to take breaks when you can, even if it’s just for a few minutes. This will help you avoid becoming overwhelmed and allow you to be more effective when you’re with your child.
Tip #10 Stay organized
It can be helpful to make a list of things to do and keep track of all the paperwork that comes with a hospital stay. This will help you stay organized and on top of things. Besides, your future self will thank you for it.
Tip #11 Connect with other parents
It can be helpful to connect with other parents who have been through a similar experience. And more importantly, they can offer their support or pieces of advice. So, don’t be afraid to reach out to them.
Tip #12 Keep your sense of humor
Laughter is often the best medicine, so try to keep your sense of humor. This will help you cope with the stress of a hospital stay. Plus, your child will appreciate your positive attitude despite the challenging situation.
Tip #13 Take care of yourself
Remember that you can’t take care of your child if you don’t take care of yourself. Make sure to get enough sleep, eat healthy foods, and exercise when you can, too. This way, you can be at your best when you’re with your child.
Tip #14 Don’t be afraid to ask for help
If you feel overwhelmed, don’t be afraid to ask for help from the hospital staff, your family, or your friends. You don’t have to go through this challenging time alone. There are people in your corner who want to help.
Tip #15 Keep a journal
Writing in a journal can be therapeutic, and it can help you remember the details of your child’s hospital stay. After all, this is your child’s health on the line, so you have a right to be involved in their care. The best part about keeping a journal is that you can share it with your child when they’re older.
Hospital stays can be difficult for both children and parents. However, by following these 15 tips, you can make the experience a little easier. Remember to stay positive and take breaks when you need them. Most importantly, advocate for your child if you feel like they are not getting the best possible care.