weebly statistics
Home About Links Contacts Show Show

10 Ways to Be More Comfortable During Hospital Stays

217345_baby_in_the_hospital Last Friday, my 18 month old daughter had her cleft palate repaired and we stayed two nights in the hospital.  Due to various medical issues with my children, I’ve spent my share of nights sleeping on pull-out hospital beds and have learned that staying in the hospital is probably one of the most uncomfortable places to stay.  I have written an article to help parents prepare for their child’s surgery and now have decided that parents also need some encouragement on finding ways to be more comfortable during their hospital stay with their child.  Simple things, like knowing how to silence the iv machine alarm can really make a big difference during your child’s stay.  I’ve also stopped being afraid of bothering the nurses when my child or I need something.

Here are 10 ways to make your hospital stay a little more comfortable:

  1. Go home to shower and get a couple hour nap or break if possible.  Allow a friend or family member to stay with your child while they are resting while you go home and recuperate a little.
  2. Learn how to silence the alarms on those machines.  Once you’ve paged your nurse that their iv pole bag is empty, there is no need for you to endure the loud, annoying beeping that accompanies the empty iv pole bag.
  3. Bring a portable DVD player with headphones and rent a good chick flick.
  4. Don’t be afraid to ask your nurse for things you need (like a rocker, extra pillows, to start the coffee maker in the family kitchen, etc…) and more importantly, keep asking until you get it!
  5. If you think your child needs pain medicine, then communicate that to your nurse.  I have felt at times like I sounded like I was overly drug-seeking for pain medicine for my child, but staying ahead of the pain after surgery can be the difference of being slightly uncomfortable and completely miserable during your hospital stay.  If the pain medicine is not working, ask your nurse to page your doctor to see if there is something else you can try.
  6. Make friends with your child’s roommate.  Conversations with other parents can really help the time to go by quicker.
  7. If you’re not happy with your nurse, ask to speak to the charge nurse to share your concerns.
  8. On the flip side, make sure you let the charge nurse know when you have a fantastic nurse!  We had the best nurses we’ve ever had this past weekend and was sure to let the charge nurse know what fantastic nurses we had this weekend and named them to her.
  9. Don’t feel the need to get up when the nurse comes in your room in the middle of the night to check vital signs or mess with the iv pole.  If your child does not need you to tend to her, keep getting as much sleep as you can!
  10. Ask questions about the care your child is receiving.  Learn the dosages of your child’s medication and/or special precautions that should be taken with your child while recovering in the hospital. We have had a couple of incidences with improper dosages and medications with our children which were caught because I was aware of their medication.

What are some ways you have become more comfortable during your child’s hospital stay?

2 Responses to 10 Ways to Be More Comfortable During Hospital Stays

  • Gravatar
    Comment by Kristen Faulkner
    July 28, 2009 @ 6:56 am

    We would always bring pictures from home and put them up in the room. Also, we brought Ethan’s favorite toys. If the stay was unexpected, we were sure to be in touch with Child Life Dept. to accomodate our play needs.

  • Gravatar
    Comment by Amanda K
    July 28, 2009 @ 7:00 pm

    Last week around this time I had to stay in with my 3 week old daughter. Since I couldn’t leave her there (or have anyone else stay with her) I couldn’t duck home to shower or anything or take a break at all. What I found most helpful was taking in my carrier (I used a babyhawk mei tai). My baby couldn’t breathe and she was also in pain, not exactly a recipe for laying placidly in a crib. And besides that, we cosleep at home. The nurses at the hospital were fine with my holding her all day and night in her carrier – it made it easier for me to keep Zoe calm and soothed the entire time. I had my husband bring me in a bag of candy, a great book, and a bunch of magazines to help the time pass. Also don’t be afraid to ask someone for a drink! I was dying of thirst (since as I mentioned I couldn’t leave the room) until I thought to ask the nurse to bring me in a jug of water and a glass.

Leave a comment


Blog Ads: