Cancer Treatment FAQs_Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center_CHKD_Norfolk, Virginia

Hematology/Oncology FAQs

(757) 668-7243
Children with cancer and blood disorders will find a reassuring combination of medical knowledge and emotional support at CHKD. Each patient has a board-certified pediatric hematology/oncology physician who overseas the multidisciplinary team necessary to provide the best possible outcome for every child. Here, you'll find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about your child's stay in the hematology/oncology unit at CHKD.

Who will care for my child?

In addition to your child's physician, a number of people will be involved with your child's care. They include resident physicians, nurses, nursing assistants, occupational therapists, physical therapists, speech therapists, respiratory therapists, nutritionists, child life specialists and social workers. Ancillary staff, such as lab technicians, X-ray technicians and other support personnel are also a part of the team. A discharge coordinator will help set up home care needs if necessary.

May I spend the night?

At CHKD, we understand how hard it is for parents and children to be separated. Parents are welcome at any time. Your nurse can help arrange accommodations for an overnight stay.

May I care for my child myself as I do at home?

If you would like to feed your child check with the nurse first as your child may have some dietary restrictions. If you would like to change your child's clothes or diapers, take care not to dislodge any medication or monitoring devices. If you have any questions, simply ask one of the nurses for assistance.

What if I need to leave my child alone in the room?

If you need to leave your child’s room, be sure to pull up your child’s bedrails and let the nurse know you are leaving. The staff will frequently check on your child. We usually keep children in the same room for their entire hospital stay, but sometimes we do need to relocate patients. If this happens while you are away, we will make every effort to contact you.

Should I leave the door to my child’s room open or closed?

Your child's comfort and privacy are very important to us. If there is too much noise in the hall that is disrupting your child's rest, you are welcome to close the door. Additionally, during shift changes, important patient information is being shared with the incoming staff. To protect your privacy and the privacy of others, we ask that you keep your door closed during those times.

Where can I get something to eat?

Meals, drinks and snacks are provided for patients. The staff will store food items for you in the refrigerator in the pantry for up to 72 hours and will bring them to you when requested. Label any food items you bring with your child’s name and the date you brought it in. Parents, families and visitors may eat in the KD Café on the first floor or visit our vending areas on the first and fourth floors. Microwave and toaster ovens are available in this area as well as on our unit. You may also have take-out food delivered to your child’s room until 8 p.m. After that time, you will have to go to the lobby to receive delivered food.

How can I check on my child when I’m not at the hospital?

You are welcome to call the nursing station at any time at (757) 668-7243. We may ask you to provide identifying information such as your Social Security number so that we can confirm we are providing information to an authorized person.

Is there a place where my child can play?

CHKD has two inpatient playrooms where patients can play in a fun, safe and supportive environment. Patients enjoy activities, entertainment, books, toys and crafts, as well as an outdoor play deck with playground equipment for children of all abilities. An art area and umbrella covered tables allow our patients to get some fresh air and outside playtime during their stay with us. Patients that are fever free and free of isolation are permitted and encouraged to visit our inpatient playrooms, located on the 7th and 8th floors. If a child is too sick to visit, our child life staff and volunteers are happy to bring toys and/or activities to a patient’s bedside.

Will someone help me understand my child’s condition and his treatment?

Education is a big focus on our unit. Teaching will begin as soon as you get settled. It is a gradual, on-going process. We begin by orienting you and your child to the environment and then covering educational needs that are important to your child’s care on a continual basis. We encourage parents to participate in addressing the educational needs of their child.

How do you minimize the risk of infection during treatment?

At times during treatment, children have little resistance against infection. When this happens, they may be placed on "isolation precautions" for a particular infection. This means that anyone coming into contact with the child or things in his room may need to wear an isolation gown, gloves and mask. Hand-washing is the best way to protect you and your child from infections. Hands must be washed before and after each contact. These precautions attempt to decrease the chance of the infection spreading to other children on the unit, as well as staff and families.

(757) 668-7243