Planning Your Visit
Preparing for a doctor visit or hospital stay can sometimes feel overwhelming, especially if you are juggling family schedules, keeping track of your child's medical records, trying to remember what to bring and are unsure where how to get here or where to park.
We know and understand.
To make your visits as effective as possible, please review the following tips and resources.
Preparing for a clinic visit
We understand that schedules can change on a moment’s notice; we do ask that you keep us informed as soon as you are aware if you are unable to keep your scheduled appointment and/or check-in time. In order to maintain our schedule, we do appreciate at least 24 hour notice for cancellations or rescheduling of appointments. New and established patients are all asked to arrive 30 minutes prior to appointment time for paperwork, lab draws and nurse visit time.
- Prepare your child at a time you think is most appropriate, either the day before or the day of, and give them a brief description of what to expect.
- Take a notebook and jot down any questions you or your child will want to ask.
- Put together relevant information about your child's medical history.
- Have necessary insurance and financial information prepared. These include health insurance card, patient's social security number, parents' names and co-pay amount, if called for by insurance.
- Medical centers are sometimes hard to navigate. Take time to write down or print out directions to our clinic, or call us for details about where to park and how to find our offices.
- Rocky Mountain Pediatric Hematology Oncology
Denver Office (Main Office)
2055 High St. #340
Denver, CO 80205
- Rocky Mountain Pediatric Hematology Oncology
Sky Ridge Medical Center Clinic
10099 RidgeGate Pkwy
Lone Tree, CO 80124
- Rocky Mountain Pediatric Hematology Oncology
Casper Wyoming Clinic
940 East 3rd St
Casper, WY 82601
Preparing for a hospital visit or inpatient stay
It can be an anxious time when you are preparing for a hospital stay or inpatient visit. Set aside time days or even weeks in advance, if possible, to prepare medical records and complete pre-registration and insurance approval.
Before coming to Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children at P/SL, you may want to contact the child life specialist at 303-839-7717 to find out about additional resources in and around the hospital to make your stay more comfortable.
What to bring:
- A bag ready for your child, including pajamas and comfortable clothing, grooming supplies and a few favorite toys, books or crafts.
- A bag for you, including grooming items, a small hairdryer, contact lens supplies, extra clothing, something to sleep in (many parents feel comfortable in athletic clothes because they are both comfy and presentable), and slippers or flip-flops.
- A reading light in case your child wants to sleep and you don't.
- A memory foam pad for the pullout sleep chair to make it more comfortable. (Linens N' Things sells them for about $30.)
Tips on making your child and family more comfortable:
- Learn how to communicate well in the hospital. Become informed and take notes, if necessary, about the treatment and medication your child is to receive.
- Be a strong advocate on behalf of your child at all times. Do this by listening closely to medical staff and speaking up if you don't understand something or if you question whether a treatment makes sense or is being given as your physician intended. Know who to ask for or call if things aren't going as you think they should.
- Learn your nurse's name, and help them help your child.
- Keep the call button on your bed during the night. If your child sleeps through a beeping IV pump, it's easier to call the nurse and maintain a decent sleep.
- Be appreciative and help your child do the same, as a child tends to feel better if he or she is encouraged to be polite and appreciative as much as possible.
- Ask if you can take your child outside for a little fresh air or for a wheelchair or wagon ride. A change of scenery for a few minutes can be great medicine.
Your Health Care Team
The following is from the Children's Oncology Group Family Handbook. A complete copy is availablehere.
As a parent, you are part of the team that will take care of your child. Depending on your child’s needs and the staff at your hospital and/or clinic, any of the following people may be part of your health care team.
A doctor who has completed medical school and further training in residency and fellowship and now specializes in cancer care. The attending physician directs and supervises the medical care of your child.
A person who is trained to offer spiritual care, support and prayer according to each family’s individual needs.
Child Life Specialist
A person who has special training in child development and how children react to illness and being in the hospital. A child life specialist helps children to cope with cancer and its treatment.
Clinical Nurse Specialist/ Nurse Practitioner
A nurse who has completed an advanced degree program and specialty training in caring for children with cancer. The nurse practitioner or clinical nurse specialist may coordinate the medical and nursing care of your child.
Clinical Research Associate
A person who is trained to keep track of data related to your child being enrolled and treated on a clinical trial.
A person who is trained to evaluate your child’s nutritional needs and weight. The dietitian also helps to provide teaching and support about eating and drinking when your child goes home.
A doctor who has completed medical school and a residency and is now receiving specialty training in pediatric hematology, oncology, and/or hematopoietic stem cell transplant.
A doctor who has completed medical school and is now receiving specialty training.
A college graduate who is receiving training to become a doctor.
A person who is trained to care for patients during illness and to assist them in regaining and maintaining health. Nurses provide daily nursing care and health education to children and their families in the hospital or clinic.
Palliative Care Team
The palliative care team includes doctors, nurses, social workers, chaplains, and other professionals who work with the health care team to ease symptoms and provide support for children with serious illness and their families.
A person who is trained to prepare the medicines and nutritional support that your child will need. The pharmacist may also explain how medicines are to be given.
A person who works with your child to maintain or restore a level of fitness and the ability to perform activities of daily living, or helps with improving speech.
A person who is trained to assist the physician in coordinating and providing your child’s medical care.
A doctor or trained specialist who is available to help you and your child cope with feelings. This person may also perform testing to see if your child has learning problems.
A teacher who works in the hospital to help your child keep up with school work during the hospital stay. The teacher can also keep in touch with your child’s teacher at home.
A person who is trained to help you and your child cope with illness and hospitalization through counseling, support groups, financial assistance, and resource referral.
An unpaid person who is trained to help with non-medical activities.Back to top
Daily Routine When Your Child is Admitted to the Hospital
Your child’s blood pressure, temperature, heart rate, and breathing rate will be checked regularly. At times, such as when your child has a fever or needs to get a transfusion, the vital signs will be checked more often. Vital signs help the health care team know how well or ill your child is. For example, a very fast heart rate and a low blood pressure may mean that your child has a serious infection.
Your child’s weight will be closely monitored. Knowing if your child is losing or gaining weight is important. Weight loss may mean that your child is not eating or drinking enough. In some cases, your child may gain weight from too much fluid or changes in appetite related to treatment. The health care team needs to know when your child’s weight changes during treatment. The dose of chemotherapy may also change if your child’s weight goes up or down.
Intake and Output
Intake means how much fluid your child is taking in (by mouth and into a vein, also called intravenous or I.V.). Output means how much fluid your child is putting out (urine, vomit, and stool). Intake and Output (I/O) may be measured every day to keep track of what and how much your child drinks, how much I.V. fluid your child receives, and how much your child puts out. If you change your child’s diaper, do not throw it away until it is weighed to see how much urine and/or stool is in the diaper. If your child uses the urinal or bedpan, do not flush the urine or stool in the toilet until it is measured.
Your child will need to have blood tests done during cancer treatment. Blood tests are often done very early in the morning so that the test results are ready when the health care team makes the plan of care for the day.
Each day the health care team will examine your child, review information such as vital signs and results of blood tests, and talk with you about the plan of care. This is called rounds. It is helpful to write down any questions you may have before rounds to help you remember what to ask.
Anyone who has a fever, rash, diarrhea, vomiting, or other illness should not visit you or your child. Family and friends who may have been exposed to anyone with chickenpox or shingles should not visit the hospital or clinic areas. Visitors may be limited during flu season and for other medical reasons. Check with the health care team for the current visitor information and guidelines in your hospital or clinic.
For more information about visiting policies at your hospital, refer to the “Information from My Hospital” section of this handbook, or ask your health care team.Back to top
Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children at P/SL
1719 E. 19th Ave.
Denver, CO. 80218
Telephone: (303) 839-6000
Fax: (303) 839-7294
A parking garage is located to the east of the hospital at the intersection of Williams Street and East 17th Avenue. It is connected to the hospital via a second floor pedestrian ramp.