Being admitted into a hospital, surrounded by unfamiliar faces, in an unfamiliar setting can be overwhelming – for a child or parent. While the quality of medical care a patient receives is vital, providing emotional support for children and their families also helps promote a better recovery for children.
When choosing a hospital, it’s important to consider a children’s hospital – like Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach – that has access to programs, services and support groups available onsite – not only for your child, but your entire family.
A long-term hospital stay or change in diagnosis can be difficult to deal with. Many children’s hospitals offer support groups to help both children and their families manage their diagnosis and everything that comes with it. From arts and crafts activities to special music therapy, a wide variety of workshops, events and support groups can help make the hospital stay, and transition home, easy on everyone.
Kids Need More Than Medicine
Often, a full-service children’s hospital will have Child Life Specialists to ease anxieties and help children become better situated to their new hospital environment. Child Life Specialists have degrees in child development and prepare children going into any medical procedure, surgery or test. Often called “medical play,” the preparation sessions are individualized, meeting the developmental level of each child, also helping children develop coping mechanisms by using imagery, distraction and relaxation techniques.
The Right Resources
Parents should feel empowered in making health care decisions for their child, and a children’s hospital should help by providing resources, support and access to the necessary tools they need. A Family Resource Center is a place for families raising children with special needs, illness or injury to find knowledge and support. Encouraging families to feel prepared once they leave the hospital is important to recovery and/or management. These resources should be available to your family throughout your child’s care, and even after discharge.
Partners in Care
Families are an important part of a child’s care team, and a cornerstone of children’s hospitals is treating them as a vital part of the medical team. Including families in patient rounds lets them serve as partners in care. Family members can join hospital committees, councils or advisory boards that provide feedback on hospital programs and care, create educational material and provide support for families throughout their hospital experience. This supports a patient and family centered care model that creates partnerships between families and care teams to best meet patient’s needs.
Long Beach and North Orange County are lucky to have a full-service children’s hospital right in their own backyard. Miller Children’s serves as the region’s leading pediatric destination for more than 80,000 kids annually. With an extensive list of support programs, patients and families can find comfort in knowing that Miller Children’s cares about all aspects of their well-being –in and out of the hospital room.
For more information on support groups and specialized care offered at Miller Children’s, call 800-MEMORIAL or visit MillerChildrens.org.