Sunday, November 9, 2008

If I owned my own Children's Hospital. . . . .

If I owned my own Children's Hospital,

1. I would make sure that there was an adults only bar where parents could come and just get a little nip to take the edge off. Nothing alcoholic-y, no drinking til intoxication. I'm talking one drink per person - a glass of wine, a pint of beer, a vodka cranberry, etc.

One drink, because after you leave your child passed out in the OR, no matter how confident and positive you feel, you really just need a drink.

2. I would require full size actual beds for parents to sleep in if they stay in their child's room overnight. No pull out couches that torture backs, and no chairs that become beds. Parents are stressed out enough. Uncomfortable enough. And sleep is paramount because parents are already probably not going to sleep well, and so the least the hospital could do would be to give you a comfie spot to lay your head.

3. Roving masseuse. I think that in addition to the nurse who checks on your child every 30 minutes after surgery, all through the night, that if they wake you up, you get a 10 minutes neck and shoulder massage from a professional.

4. The pulse ox monitor would NEVER ring in the room. If the oxygen is getting lower, it does NO ONE any good for the fracking thing to beep in the room, and wake up the child so that he cries and cries, which in turn continues to lower his O2. Make the stupid thing ring at the nurses' station, where people who can actually fix a desat can hear it.

Ok, these are all the special things that would be at my Children's Hospital. Can anyone think of others?


Shannon said...

OMG, I totally agree!!!

It was early morning when we took Zoey for surgery last week, but I could have REALLY used a Bailey's in my coffee that morning. When Lily was hospitalized, my mother brought me a spiked pop to help me sleep one night!!!! It was a huge help.

We have a wonderful children's hospital where I live. I had to stay in it for two nights when Lily was a few weeks old because she had pneumonia. I had a single bed with a TV and it had a bathroom with a SHOWER in the room!!! It was like a hotel compared with the emergency room we stayed in the first night!! Plus, it was so much nicer than the room we had to stay when Zoey was born and in the NICU (and of course we couldn't be IN the room with Zoey then).

I HATED the beeping all night though, and also didn't understand why is was going on in the room! A few times some kind of alarm went off, and no one even came in because they didn't hear it! WTH?

They also insisted on keeping the door slightly open...which wasn't great because there was a child crying for the better part of the night and it was all I could hear. It broke my heart but I also could not get any sleep!

Anonymous said...

I love this post Chris!

I would have to add:
-a jacuzzi
-a late night coffee bar where parents could go to hang out with other parents and sip some coffee to help prepare for the 2 AM siren alarms going off.
- a beauty shop- I always look terrible when the docs with their residents and three med students come around for rounds at 7AM
-how about they just turn those rooms into suites? Parents could sleep in an ajoining room and the nurses could come wake you up when needed.
-for the PICU- some sound proof walls as it is generally my kid screaming all night long and I feel bad for everyone else around us
-a cafeteria that is open 24 hours. Because really, when your kid has been NPO since 2 AM and doesn't get out of surgery until 6 PM you have missed quite a few meals in the process of waiting on the edge of your seat all day to make sure they didn't die in surgery. Mashed potatoes and turkey at 11PM on Thanksgiving would be a godsend. granted we have met some of the most awesome families we know who are also making a midnight Taco Bell run after not eating all day. Funny how families with sick kids are the best people in the world.
-More normal kid activities. Especially on holidays. We have spent every major holiday except Easter of 2008 in the hospital for the past 20 months. Just recently child life did trick or treating when Benji was inpatient. Novel idea- treat kids like kids!


SaRaH said...

EXCELLENT ideas, Chris! I would have a two drink minimum at your bar, have 24 food service, voicemail and a workcenter. I found it so hard to coordinate family and such while Nora was in the hospital. Maybe a personal secretary would be even better...

Kristin said...

LOVE it!!!

GREAT ideas!! The drink thing would be a great way to take the edge off of the whole hospital/surgery situation.

I am Mary S. said...

I totally agree, especially about those stupid chair beds. Those are horrible.

I would make sure there were beautiful and comforting murals and pictures on the walls. The Children's Hospital where Catie had her surgery didn't have much in the way of that and I thought it would have been nice for her to look at something like that to take her mind off of what was going on.

Robyn said...


I have a whole list of what I am going to do someday when I get to have my own school...