Preparing for discharge (1130)

Key points below

Being in the hospital can be stressful for you and your child.  Before you take your child home, the health care team will work with you to plan for your child’s discharge.  This process will start when we first meet you.  We will:

Talk about your child’s care every day. 
Let you watch and practice the cares that you will have to do at home.
Ask you to show or tell us about your child’s care to be sure we explained everything in ways you understand.
Answer your questions and concerns.
Make sure you feel ready to take your child home. 
Use this checklist to help you and your child prepare to go home. Use the suggested questions listed to ask your health care team about the information you need.  If you have other questions or concerns that are not listed, please ask!  Make sure you have your answers before you leave.

I know why my child was in the hospital.
What is my child’s main problem?

I know how to care for my child at home.
What do I need to do for my child at home?
Why is it important to do these things?
What can my child eat or drink?
What activity can my child do?  What activity should they not do?  For how long?
When can my child return to school or daycare?
How do I take care of any wounds, cuts, or incisions?  Can you show me how to do this?
How do I take care of any drains or tubes?  Can you show me how to do this?
Will my child need any special equipment or supplies at home?  How will I get the equipment and supplies?  Who pays for it?  How do I use the equipment or supplies?
Will my child need other help or care at home?  If so, who will help?

I know I have everything I need to take my child home.
What do I need to take my child home?
Who can help me if I don’t have:
A car seat?
A picture ID?
Clothes for my child?

I know about my child’s medicines and how to give them.
What medicine does my child need to take when we leave the hospital?  
Why does my child need this medicine?
When should my child take this medicine, and how should it be given?
How much medicine do I give?
What are possible side effects of the medicine?  What problems should I watch for?
Where and how do I get this medicine? How do I get refills?

I know what problems to look for and who to call when I have a concern.
What problems do I need to watch for when we get home?
How do I know when I should call?
Who do I call with questions or problems when I get home?

I know when my child’s follow-up appointments and tests are, and how we will get there.
What appointments and tests does my child need after we leave the hospital?  Do I need to make these appointments?
Where can I get help with transportation to get there?
Are we waiting on the results of any tests?  When should I get the results?

Other tips to help you get ready to go home

Write down your questions.
Take notes on what your doctors and nurses say.
Attend patient and family centered rounds.
Ask questions until you understand.
Make lists of what needs to be done, who can do it, and who can help.
Visit or call the Daniel M. Soref Family Resource center at Children’s Wisconsin to find family and community resources.