Frequently Asked Questions

Children with cancer and blood disorders will find a reassuring combination of medical knowledge and emotional support in CHKD's "hem/onc" unit. Our staff consists of many different professionals, but each of us shares a common dedication to our patients and their families. We will do all we can to make your stay with us as comfortable as possible. Most of the information you need to know about Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters and its services and programs are covered elsewhere on this website. In this section, we’ll try to answer specific questions.

What conditions do you treat?

The hematology/oncology specialists provide diagnostic, therapeutic and comprehensive care services for infants, children and adolescents with blood disorders and malignancies. Diagnosis and treatment of the red blood cell and hemoglobin abnormalities of hemostatic disorders and leukocyte disorders are available.

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. So we make sure that parents feel welcome at all times. 

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

Before giving your child any food, please check with the nurse; your doctor may have ordered special dietary instructions. If you change your child’s diaper, please place the soiled diaper on the scale at the sink in your room and notify your nurse.

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?

Nurses at CHKD work 12-hour shifts. Between 6:30 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. in the evenings, nurses change shifts and share important patient medical information with the incoming staff. Since patient privacy is very important to us, we ask that you close your door during this time and save any non-urgent requests and questions until after shift changes are over. Please know that we will respond to all urgent matters immediately, even during a shift change.

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 bring 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 you cannot be here yourself to find out how your child is doing. We may ask you to identify yourself in a special way (for instance, by giving us your Social Security number) to make sure we are giving that information to the proper person. To reach us on the unit, please call (757) 668-7243.

Is there a place where my child can play?

CHKD’s child life department maintains a very popular activity room for our patients. Please ask the nurse if your child can go to the activity room. At times, your child may not be allowed to go to the activity room, for instance if he or she has a fever. Instead, your child will be encouraged to participate in play therapy in his or her room.

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.

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