What to ask during your child's stay.

A hospital stay can bring up many questions.

Don’t be afraid to ask the questions on your mind, because questions lead to conversations, and conversations help us to better understand how your child is feeling. That’s how we can ensure everyone’s needs are met, and how to best treat and care for you, your child, and your family in the most personal way.

Please feel comfortable asking any number of questions and use this guide to trigger new questions.

Smiling African American girl lying on bed while listening to headphones

We’ve put together some example questions for you.

Other families have asked similar questions, so use these as thought starters.

Ask about your child’s care team
close icon
  • We were introduced to a nurse and to a nurse navigator. What's the difference between them?
  • Who determines if surgery is needed? Can my family request non-surgical treatments be considered first?

  • Who helps my child with pain management?

  • My child will require pharmaceutical medications delivered to our home in dry ice and stored appropriately. Which member of our care team will walk me through all of this?

  • We need help sorting through what charges our insurance will cover and how we'll tackle other medical expenses. Who do we talk to about this?

  • There's a palliative care specialist assigned to my child's care. Should we be concerned?

Ask how to prepare for admission
close icon
  • What paperwork will I need to complete before we come into the hospital?
  • What items should I bring with me for the registration process?

  • My child was hospitalized unexpectedly after an emergency room visit. We brought nothing from home, and I will not leave my child to shop. Any ideas for getting fresh clothes or other things we need?

  • Can you suggest some ideas to help us prepare our child (mentally and emotionally) for the upcoming hospital stay?

  • Is there a place for our family to stay nearby while our child is in the hospital? We are concerned about costs. Is there an option with a hospital discount?

  • English is not our first language. How do I get a translator involved in our medical discussions? Is there a cost for this service?

Ask about your child's room
close icon
  • Our family and extended family are staying at a nearby hotel. How often can they all come to the hospital room and visit my child? Is there a limit to the number of visitors per hour or per day?
  • We’ll need to access our laptops and iPads. Does the hospital provide free Wi-Fi service? Can we charge our devices in the room?

  • My child only drinks specific liquids and only eats specific foods. Is it okay for me to bring these into the hospital and store them in the room?

Ask about enhancing your child's experience
close icon
  • How can I get my child started on tutoring? How do we get in contact with the school team?
  • Outside of my child's school assignments, can the school team provide supplemental work?

  • My child's teacher and classmates want to video conference my child. How do we coordinate through the school team? We only have a laptop; is there a way to access a bigger screen?

  • Unrelated to school, what type of fun activities or play activities can my child participate in?

  • Our family has Pizza Friday and a movie every week. How can we keep that routine?

  • My child is a music student. As part of recovery, how can we contact a music therapist?

  • Can I bring in homemade treats that my child likes, such as brownies and cookies, instead of buying them?

  • Can I bring in my child's personal PlayStation? Who do we contact to help set up the device in their room?

Ask about your family's care
close icon
  • How can the Child and Family Life team help our family while we're here?
  • My family requires (e.g., Halal, vegan, Kosher, etc.) food options. Who could advise us about dietary accommodations for inside and outside the hospital?

  • My other children are supportive, but coming into the hospital every day is starting to wear on them. Any suggestions on who they could talk to about this?

  • It would be helpful to hear how other families like us are coping with (e.g., diagnosis, illness, treatment, etc.). How do we get in touch with them? Are there organizations that we should look into?

  • I'm in need of silence and solitude. Where can I spend an hour, alone, gathering my thoughts or resting my eyes?

  • We noticed an ingredient in our child's treatment that we're concerned about (e.g., allergy, against religion/faith). Who should we talk to?

Ask how to share news and updates
close icon
  • How do I tell my child's friends about what's happening?
  • How do I explain my child's diagnosis and treatment plans to my other kids?

  • How much information should I share with my child's school about diagnosis and treatment plans? How do we address medications and dosages at school?

  • Any ideas for how I can share what’s going on with my child when I’m asked by well-meaning neighbors and other parents?

  • Sometimes, I don’t want to talk about my child’s illness when my other children are with me. Is it ok to avoid it around them?

Ask about discharge preparation
close icon
  • When my child leaves the hospital, the home recovery will take time. Will anyone be checking in on us? Who would be my emergency contact?
  • Does concierge service help transport all of our things from the room to the car?

  • Who will help us make a list of everything I will need to buy or have at home for my child?

  • Who walks us through the discharge plan?

  • Will someone meet us at our home to help my family learn what we need to do?

  • Who will send the hospital records to my child's regular pediatrician? Do I need to follow up?

A checklist to review before you go home.

To help transition from hospital to home, we’ve created a checklist for your family to review before leaving.

Health Information at Your Fingertips.

Manage your child’s health by requesting access to be their MyChart proxy.