"We Have To Go To The Hospital..."

Your child needs to go to the hospital.
What do you do?

The First Step

What Kind of Trip?

If you have warning about a hospital stay (like a scheduled test or procedure), you will have time to plan for the trip.  Some considerations on your trip:

If you are going for an "out-patient" procedure or test, you will not need to stay overnight at the hospital, so if you live close enough to the hospital where the procedure or test will take place,  you will not have to plan for more than a day-trip with your child.

If you are going for an overnight or lengthy stay, you will need to pack and prepare.  

See Hospital Visits to help prepare.


The Second Step

Get support.  

Tell your family and friends that you and your child are headed to the hospital.  Get their support with meeting your planning needs while you are gone - house sitting, child-care for siblings, pet care - etc.  

See Creating Your Family's Circle of Support.

The Third Step

Get organized.

Make sure you have all the information you need to get you to the hospital on time - travel details, contact information, directions, information on which entrance to use, etc.  If you are staying overnight, your doctor's office may help with travel information, or there may be a contact at the hospital that will give you information on hotels with deals for patient family's, etc.  If you are going for a significant surgery, cancer treatment, or long-term stay, you may be able to stay at a Ronald McDonald House, which is highly recommended if available. 

Packing - make a list.   It is a good idea to make a Master Packing List for yourself, and one for your child (and each person going with you.)  That way, you will be sure that each person has everything they need.  Don't forget equipment and medications for your child, as well as a medical history and complete insurance information, a list of questions you may have, etc.  (Coming Soon! The Complete Caregiver Journal Workbook is a portable novel-sized book with forms for all your child's health care information.)

If you are driving - make sure your car is ready to go.  Oil changes, good tires, any maintenance that is due, etc. are essential to having a safe trip.  

If this is an emergency trip, you will need to rely on a family member or friend to follow up with anything you might need, whether they can deliver it to you at the hospital, or have it mailed/shipped to you at a hospital address or place you are staying (check with the hospital staff or the place you are staying to determine the best option).

 Back to Road Maps
  (These statements and suggestions are in no way intended to be construed as medical advice or as advice from a medical professional.)


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