Childhood Cancer

Your Child in the Hospital

Working with the staff

Many wonderful and some not-so-wonderful people work in hospitals. Parents sometimes find that their anxiety makes them less tolerant of inefficiency or confusion. Your child will feel more secure if you work with hospital staff rather than becoming adversarial. If you help change your child’s soiled bedding, take out food trays, and give baths, you will free overworked nurses to take care of medicines and IVs. Nurses are usually happy to answer questions or explain planned treatments or procedures to you and your child.

Some parents recommend introducing themselves and their child to the nurse and residents on each shift. You might add that you’ll help as much as you can. If they are not too busy, talk with them about matters unrelated to the hospital. Establishing a personal relationship makes everyone feel more comfortable and connected. Try to thank them for any kind words or deeds.

Give staff a chance to see your child as a human being. Show pictures. “This is the little kid who likes Barney. He loves to play this song. This is what he looks like when he’s not all puffed up from steroids.” They see so many kids who are so sick every day. It’s important for them to see that sparkle in your child’s eye.