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Patients & Family

We understand that entering a hospital can be a difficult, confusing—and sometimes even frightening—experience for children and their families. We want to put you and your child at ease. First and foremost, you are in good hands at N.C. Children’s Hospital, with access to some of the nation’s foremost experts in the full range of pediatric specialties and subspecialties.

Throughout your child’s care and treatment, these highly-skilled, highly-trained medical professionals will take the time to talk with you and your family, answering any questions you may have. They will offer you and your child a range of support services to make his or her medical journey more management and a lot less stressful.

N.C. Children’s Hospital is committed to patient- and family-centered care. That mean YOU are a valuable member of your child’s care team. No one knows your child better than you do, so your engagement in your child’s health care is a tremendous help to the entire care team—and to your child. We invite and encourage you to participate in daily rounds and find other ways to advocate for your son or daughter during the hospital stay.

Whether yours is a short or extended stay, everyone at N.C. Children's Hospital—from caregivers like the doctors and nurses to the support staff in food services and housekeeping—is committed to the genuine caring and compassion that is critical for the healing of sick and injured children. If you have any questions before, during, or after your child's stay, please just ask.

In the meantime, here are some of the questions parents facing their child’s first admission often ask.

Will we be able to stay with our child overnight?

We value parent participation and recognize the special role you play in healthcare decision making and the care of your child. We encourage you to spend as much time as possible with your child during the hospitalization. Each inpatient room (beyond the Newborn Critical Care Center) is private and has a private bathroom, which makes it more comfortable for your child and easier for you to be part of the process. The rooms are large enough to accommodate family visits, and every room has a convertible sofa so that an adult family member may stay overnight.

Are there places to stay near the hospital?

Some families of pediatric patients are referred to the Ronald McDonald House by their doctor, nurse, or social worker. There are also local hotels in close proximity to the hospital, some of which offer discounts to families of UNC Medical Center patients.

Patient relations can assist you with finding housing in the area should you need to stay. They can be reached by calling (919) 966-5006. Or you can find more lodging information on the UNC Medical Center website.

Will I be able to talk to my child's doctor?

Caregivers at N.C. Children's Hospital are very committed to involving you as much as possible in your child's care. You will be able to talk with your child's doctor, as well as with other members of your child's hospital team, which may include may nurses and nurse practitioners, social workers, psychologists, physical and/or occupational therapists, dietitians, and other health professionals. Your child's caregiver will take the time to talk with you and answer your questions, as well as instruct you in how to provide care for your child when appropriate.

N.C. Children's Hospital is a teaching hospital. This means your child's care will be provided, in part, by medical trainees like resident physicians and medical students who are training under the expert supervision of our attending physicians.Different members of your child's medical team may ask you many of the same questions. This is part of our method of providing quality care and being thorough.

Please keep a paper and pen handy to take notes, ask questions, and write down anything you want to discuss with your child's caregiver.

Will our other children be allowed to visit their brother/sister in the hospital?

Yes, visitors can be good medicine for patients. Family members and friends are welcome to visit as long as they are healthy. General visiting hours are from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Please check with your child's nurse about visiting hours specific to their unit.

Providing a healthy environment for your child's recovery is important for your child and other children who are patients at N.C. Children's Hospital. Visitors suffering from a cold, virus, infection, or other illness should remain at home.

Will I be able to use my cell phone in my child's room?

Wireless communication devices may have electromagnetic interference, which could interfere with medical equipment, and therefore, cell phone use rules vary based on the type of equipment in individual patient rooms. Please ask your child's nurse for the policy specific to your child's equipment and medical situation.

Note that you may see nurses using cordless phones. These phones operate on a frequency that does not interfere with medical equipment.

Is there a computer available where I can look up information about my child's diagnosis on the Internet?

Several of the inpatient units have family resource room, which have computers available for your use. Your nurse can give you directions to the family resource room from your child's room. You can also find more health information through the UNC Health Sciences Library website.