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It’s normal to be nervous about an overnight hospital stay, even when you know you are in great hands. To help put your mind at ease, we’re sharing what to expect before, during and after your child’s overnight stay at Children’s Hospital Colorado.
To get ready for an overnight stay at one of our locations, you should learn about where you are going, what you’ll need to do and what will happen while you are here. The more parents know about what to expect, the better parents and kids feel.
Here are our suggestions for what to do when you learn that your child will need to spend the night at the hospital.
Before your stay, talk with your child’s doctor or staff about the procedures or tests so you'll know exactly what to expect. It is helpful to learn about your child’s symptoms or condition so you can advocate for him or her during their stay.
Use our Family Health Library or search for information about your child’s condition.
The more your child knows about what to expect from their overnight stay, the more comfortable and relaxed they will be. It can be helpful to talk to your whole family to make sure your child doesn’t feel alone and that your family knows what to expect.
When you’re in the hospital with your child, we want you to feel comfortable speaking up or asking questions. You can call the care team to ask questions or you can wait until your stay to meet with the doctors or nurses taking care of your child. Ask for clarification on:
Our doctors, nurses and staff are ready for your child’s visit. If there is a need to change or cancel a scheduled appointment to the hospital, it is very important that you call at least 24 hours before your visit. This helps us rearrange our staff schedule so we can treat other children who are waiting.
You can change your appointment by calling our main phone number: 720-777-1234. Ask to be transferred to the department that is treating your child to cancel or change your appointment.
You will get a call you before your scheduled visit to pre-register your child for their appointment. This helps to make sure you have a quick check-in on the day of your visit and that all paperwork and insurance information is complete and accurate.
During this call, our staff will also give you information about where to go the day of your visit and how to prepare for your visit. They will go over your insurance information and any copay amount due on the day of your visit. Your care team will call you one to two days before your visit to tell you what time you should come to the hospital for your scheduled visit.
Your insurance provider may need your child’s stay to be approved before you visit. The doctor who referred you should handle these approvals. However, it is important to call your insurance provider to make sure they have given their approval. If not, you could be held financially responsible.
Check to see if we accept your insurance plan and that your plan will cover your child’s visit. See which insurance plans we accept
Our patient cost estimate specialists can also help figure out the amount your family will be responsible for paying based on your:
It’s also important to understand inpatient charges you may have if you are paying without insurance (known as self-pay), or you want to make sure that your child’s specific treatment is covered by your insurance.
You can also call 720-777-0720 to speak with a patient cost estimate specialist. They are available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Be sure to bring a list of information about your child’s health:
Also make sure to collect and share:
Children enjoy having clothing and other items from home that can help make their hospital stay easier. Children’s Colorado has diapers, hospital gowns, pajama bottoms and slipper socks for your child. We also have tons of age-appropriate toys and video games.
Whatever you decide to pack, please be sure to label personal items and clothing you bring to the hospital. We’ll do our best to help you keep track of them, but it is your responsibility.
Please do not bring the following items:
Each department or clinic may have specific guidelines, so please ask in advance if you have any questions.
When you arrive at the hospital, allow a few extra minutes to make sure you have enough time to park and find the main Information Desk, which is located in the lobby.
There, you will be greeted by one of our Visitor Access staff members. You will need to provide identification, such as a driver’s license, so that we can issue you a security badge. All visitors, patients and family members will need a badge, and the process is quick and easy.
Once you have your badge, staff will tell you where you need to go. Parents will be issued wristbands that match their child’s. Please wear these throughout your stay.
At registration, you will verify that the information you provided during pre-registration is on file and is correct. In particular, look at the name, address and insurance information recorded. Once you’ve confirmed everything is correct, the staff will then make a copy of your ID card and insurance card. They will also ask you to pay the co-pay, if there is one.
Once you’re registered and the paperwork is ready, you may need to wait until your child is called back. Depending on the reason for the overnight stay, you may be taken back right away, or you may have to wait a while longer. You will be able to go with your child to most rooms in the hospital, except for the operating room.
When you are taken back to your hospital room, be sure to ask your nurse any questions about your room and the floor where your child is staying. He or she will be able to answer all of them and orient you quickly to your new surroundings.
An overnight stay can seem scary, but once you’re settled, you may find yourself with a lot of downtime. To fill the hours between tests, doctor visits and your child's discharge, you can:
Based on the reason for your visit, such as a short procedure or an important test, parents may also have a lot of downtime. Make sure to bring your own form of entertainment.
Parents are always welcome and may stay with your child overnight. Every patient room is a private room complete with a fold-out sofa bed. One or both parents may stay with their child.
For family and friends (excluding parents or guardians), general visiting hours are from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. A patient may have up to two visitors (not including parents) in the room at one time. Visiting policies can vary based on location and department.
Once the doctor has given the discharge order, your child’s healthcare team will begin to make plans for a safe and comfortable transition home. It may take a little time to coordinate services with other community providers if your child needed any special care, medical equipment and supplies.
Your child's doctor and nurses will teach you about any care needed at home, medications and follow-up appointments. Think through any of you questions or concerns before you leave the hospital and be sure to get them answered so that you are confident about going home. If you do forget a question, do not hesitate to call the number provided in your discharge paperwork to follow up.
Here are a few ideas for questions to ask:
After your child has returned home, their activities may not be back to normal, so you’ll want to watch them closely.
Some children do change their behavior for a short time when they get home. You might see a change in sleeping patterns, a tendency to be more clingy or to express more fear. This behavior is normal and temporary.
If you have any question about how your child is feeling or if they are healing as expected, please call your care team as instructed when you left the hospital. Remember that you are not alone, and we are here to help you.