What to Expect the First Day

We know it can be difficult to leave the hospital or program that you and your child are familiar with and come to a new one. That's why we'd like to help you understand what to expect on your first day at Blythedale. 

mom and baby getting ready

We are here to answer any questions you may have and our goal is to make this transition as smooth as possible.

In most cases, one parent can ride with your child in the ambulance from the referring hospital. You are welcome to do so if this makes you comfortable, or to follow in your car if you prefer.  If you drive your own car, you can park in the main lot, which is easy to find... just look for the elephants!

Your child will be brought into the Hospital by the transport team, where you will all be greeted at our Security Desk and directed to the appropriate unit. If you are planning to stay the night, please bring whatever clothing or personal belongings you will need. Sheets and towels will be provided for you. We will also provide you with a meal on the day of admission, as we know it can be a long and stressful day. It's important to take care of yourself so that you can be there for your child.

When you reach the unit, and throughout the rest of the day, you will meet several important people that will help you to become familiar with the Hospital and the unit. They will include:

Registrar: They will assist you with all of the paperwork involved with being admitted to Blythedale. Their role is to confirm all of your personal information, explain the consent forms you will be asked to sign, and provide you with a folder of information about the Hospital. They will also make copies of your child's insurance card(s) and immunization record. Finally, they will take a photo of your child that we will keep in the electronic medical record for identification. Feel free to ask for a copy if you'd like one!

Attending Physician: If you took a pre-admission tour, you may have already met a physician or another medical team member. You will sit down for an intake meeting with a physician, who may be joined by other team members to make the process simple for you. At this meeting, you will be able to review your child's history, your goals for the admission, and hear about the team's initial plans for your child's care.

Nurse Manager: Each unit has a nurse manager. Just like the physician, you may have already met the nurse manager on a tour. They oversee the unit and are available to answer any questions you may have.

Primary Nurse: During each shift, your child will be assigned a primary nurse. It is likely that, over time, you will get to know a few nurses quite well. Your child's nurse can answer many of your questions and will often be the one to guide you through the process of learning about your child's care.  

Social Worker: Every child is assigned a social worker upon admission to Blythedale. This isn't common at every hospital, but at Blythedale, we realize that caring for a medically complex child requires a great deal of emotional support and assistance with things like planning for your child's return to school, arranging for services at home upon discharge, and learning how to navigate the healthcare system. You may have met one of our social workers if you took a tour, but if you weren't able to tour, the social worker is the perfect person to ask for one.

Respiratory Therapist: If your child has breathing issues, a respiratory therapist is an important part of the team. They will work closely with your child's nurse and physician to develop an appropriate plan of care.

Who Else Might I Meet?

Depending on your child's medical needs, you may also meet the following people on the first day or soon after:

Physical Therapist: They will help you and the team determine what is needed to help with positioning your child comfortably and getting around the hospital setting. If your child already has braces, orthotics, a wheelchair, or other assistive devices, the physical therapist is the right person to inform, as this will help guide your child's treatment plan. To learn more about this service, click here.

Occupational Therapist: If this service is recommended, the OT will help your child develop or regain daily living skills through a therapy program that often seems more like play. To learn more about this service, click here.

Speech Therapist: This service is involved when children have communication or feeding issues. The ST may assist your baby with learning how to feed or help your older child with communicating. To learn more about this service, click here.

Child Life: In some cases, your child may need additional support to cope with procedures or therapies or to adjust to their illness. This is where a Child Life therapist can help. To learn more about this service, click here.

Patient Ambassador: They are available to help you with any concerns or questions about the services your child receives at Blythedale. Whether you have feedback about the condition of your child’s room or questions about how to access certain services, the Patient Ambassador can help. Please check the whiteboard in your child’s pod for their contact information. We are very interested in your feedback!