What to Expect at the Children’s Center


Coming to the Children’s Center

Parking for the Children’s Center is located in the P2 Parking Garage, with the entrance on Centerville Road. Please note that the cost to park is $1 per day.

You will then enter the hospital on the Ground Floor, continue through the Atrium into the Main Hospital and take Elevator D to the Second Floor. Upon exiting the elevators, walk toward the doors of the Children’s Center and pick up the phone for access.

Upon arrival to the Children’s Center, please make sure to have your ID with you and ready for check-in at the front desk.


Visiting Hours

Family and guests are welcome 24 hours a day, according to patient/family preference. The number of people welcomed at the bedside at any one time will be determined in collaboration with the patient, family and interdisciplinary care team.

To promote patient healing and rest, we encourage families to restrict visiting hours, so your child can rest between the hours of 10 pm and 6 am.


Personal Plan of Care

Our specialized healthcare team will develop a plan of care specific to your child and his or her needs. You are encouraged to be a part of your child’s care and the healthcare team may ask you to get involved as you feel comfortable.

Please note that before we can begin your child’s care, we must first verify their physician’s orders.

Bedside Reports

Part of the plan of care is safe and accurate reporting of information from one shift to the next. Our nursing staff performs a “bedside report” at every shift change to ensure that each oncoming staff member has the most complete and accurate information possible to continue caring for your child.


Staying with Your Child

You may stay with your child 24 hours a day, every day. If you’re unable to be there or need to leave, please arrange for another responsible adult (18 years or older) to stay with your child. Let your nursing team know if your child will be alone for a significant period of time.

If you have to leave the Children’s Center and would like to call and check on your child’s status, please ask for instructions from your nurse before leaving the hospital. No children, other than the patients, may be left unattended.

Leaving the Pediatric Unit

Pediatric patients five years and younger may not leave the Children’s Center for reasons other than procedures or treatments until they are discharged. Pediatric patients six years and older may leave the floor for brief periods of time, provided the patient meets the guideline requirements. Ask your nurse for further details.


Your Child’s Healthcare Team

Members of the healthcare team will be making hourly rounds to patients. Key members of your child’s healthcare team you can expect to meet include:


Your physician visits your child every day and answers any questions you may have. You can also rely on your physician to make decisions based upon the team’s reports of your child’s needs. During your child’s stay, your attending physician may consult with other physicians and may order hospital services such as laboratory tests, physical therapy, respiratory care, x-rays or other tests and medications. These services will only be provided with a doctor’s order.


A nurse will assess your child’s care needs and schedule times to give medication or change your child’s dressing. Depending on your child’s progress, the nurses may decide to adjust your child’s plan of care. Our nurses will also provide information to you about your child’s illness and ways to care for your child’s medical needs when you go home.

Patient Care Assistants

A patient care assistant will take your child’s vital signs and tend to your child’s personal hygiene needs.

Child Life Specialist

A certified child life specialist is on staff to provide support for both you and your child. A child life specialist is someone who specializes in child development and children’s reactions to hospitalization. Your child life specialist is available to provide developmentally appropriate explanations for tests and procedures, as well as to make sure your child has play opportunities to support his or her development. Learn more.

Music Therapists

Music therapy is a research-based profession in which musical interventions are used to address the specific needs of patients. Our music therapy staff uses patient-preferred music and activities to engage patients in a fun and supportive manner. In the Children’s Center, music therapists lead group sessions in the playroom, see patients in their rooms and are available to assist during medical procedures as needed. Potential music therapy goals include:
  • Developing acceptance and coping skills
  • Encouraging play
  • Enhancing social and communication skills
  • Decreasing fears and anxiety
  • Increasing relaxation
  • Reducing the perception of pain

If you are interested in music therapy during your child’s hospital stay, please speak with your child’s nurse or another member of the healthcare team to make arrangements.

Additional Healthcare Team Members

In addition to key members, your child’s healthcare team also includes:

  • Nurse technicians
  • Respiratory care staff
  • Dietary staff
  • Dietitians
  • Housekeeping staff
  • Social workers
  • Pharmacists


Routine Monitoring

Vital Signs

Members of our nursing staff check your child’s “vital signs” or temperature, heart rate and breathing, every four hours. We may check your child’s vital signs more often depending on their physician’s orders. While we respect your child’s need for rest, we must monitor his or her condition throughout the night. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Weight Check

You child’s condition may require a daily weight check. This is done between midnight and 6 am while vital signs are being taken.

Physician’s Rounds & Lab Work

Physician’s Rounds are in the morning and give you an opportunity to discuss any changes in your child’s condition or care with the physician. Lab work is routinely ordered in the morning and usually needs to be completed early, so results will be back in time for physicians’ morning rounds.


We enlist the help of various volunteer groups to help patients feel as comfortable as possible during their time in the Children’s Center. Although the needs of every child differ with age and how they are feeling, we hope your child will have the opportunity to benefit from these resources.

Volunteers provide activities such as art, reading and normal play opportunities at the bedside and in the Playroom. We also have volunteers who bring their licensed therapy animals to the Children’s Center through the Animal Therapy Program.

For additional information on accessing or volunteers within any of the above programs, please feel free to contact our volunteer services department at 850-431-5331.