This week, I sat down with Dr. Adam G. Mezoff, chief medical office at Dayton Children’s, to learn his thoughts on the role of parents in keeping kids safe while at the hospital.
Here are some additional tips for patient families visiting the hospital:
1. Be a patient advocate for your child. Don’t be shy. Ask questions about your child’s care, raise safety concerns you have or ask the caregiver to double check their chart before they act. You might say, “Excuse me, I have a few questions before you start treatment, would you mind answering them, please?”
2. Wash. Wash your hands and your child’s hands when entering and leaving the hospital, your patient room, the bathroom and any treatment rooms (such as x-ray); and be sure to wash if you have handled any soiled material. And since you are a part of your child’s health care team, do not be afraid to remind doctors and nurses about washing their hands before working with you – even if they are wearing gloves.
3. Stay clean & dry. If your child has an intravenous catheter or a wound, keep the skin around the dressing clean and dry and let your caregiver know if it gets wet or loose.
4. Know the meds. Ask for the names of the medications your child is receiving in the hospital and how it is expected to help your child. Caregivers will check your child’s identification band before giving a medication to make certain the correct medication is being given. If you don’t see this, ask staff to double check that the medication is for your child. You might say, “Excuse me, that medication is not familiar to me. Can you please double check it against my child’s chart?”
5. Be prepared when going home. When your child is ready to go home from the hospital, make certain you know what medications and/or treatments your child will need once home. Ask what you should watch for that will require a call to your child’s doctor and which doctor to call if questions come up. Also ask when your child will need to follow up with a physician appointment.
If you are planning a visit to the hospital, check out our visitor guidelines for some more important tips.