Children’s Hospitals: My Experience with Son’s Recent Hospital Stay

To my loyal readers, you may have noticed that I hadn’t posted anything new all last week. That’s because we were in the hospital with our 10 month old son. He came down with pneumonia which resulted in a hospital stay for 3 days. Once we were back home I was so exhausted I felt like I needed a hospital myself.


Children’s hospitals, though may appear friendly and bright, are certainly no fun to stay in. Granted, we were in a small town hospital that is nearby so I wouldn’t expect anything over the top. Overall, the experience wasn’t completely terrible from things I’ve heard other parents say about certain hospitals but it definitely doesn’t make my list of top favorite experiences. This is not the first time I’ve had to stay at a hospital with one of my children apart from their birth. When my daughter was about the same age, she was also hospitalized with pneumonia; however she was discharged the next day.

It started with my son having bronchitis a few weeks ago. I took him to the doctor, put him on some antibiotics and breathing treatments, and it cleared up. He stayed with a lingering ear infection, however, that we had to continuously go back every week afterwards for a new round of treatment. Despite having been on 3 different rounds of medicine, a little over a week ago he developed a terrible wheeze. Ironically enough, this was right when I posted my article on infant allergies discussing asthma in babies. I knew what to do and began giving him ’round the clock breathing treatments every 4 hours (a decision based on my experience as a mom of children who have suffered acute bronchitis before and medical knowledge. Do NOT use this as advice for treatment if your infant or child starts wheezing, take them to the doctor) I noticed that his wheezing was only getting worse and took him into the ER where we spent 6 hours before finally being admitted.

As I’ve previously mentioned, I worked in health care formerly so I have an appreciation and understanding for nurses and CNAs. You are not the only patient that a nurse is appointed to. They are very busy people with appointed tasks of checking vitals, recording records and handling paper work. Many people don’t know what goes on behind the scenes, but every time a nurse touches you, administers medicine to you, or basically listens to you it has to be recorded and analyzed. Knowing this, I have a little more patience than most people when it comes to hospital care.

Our first two nights weren’t too bad. Apart from the lack of sleep due to vital checks, blood work, and breathing treatments we were fairly comfortable. The hospital had recently upgraded to these fancy cribs that I so desire to have (and probably cost a fortune). I was pretty pleased with the care my son received especially from the night nurse and CNA on his case. That’s another thing, most nurses are on a 7/7 schedule where they work 7 days then they’re off for 7 days so if you are hospitalized there’s a good probability you will encounter the same nurse over a period of your stay. In our case we had the same night shift nurse every night we stayed.

By the third day, it was a different story. I was already so worn out from not sleeping and tending to my son; each time he had to have a chest X-ray we had to go down to the first floor then back up to pediatric floor not to mention the tedious job of holding him down for repeated blood work and having his nose aspirated. I was fit to be tied and by myself as my husband had to return to work and my mother-in-law was caring for our other child. The hospital will be hearing back from me on this one nurse we had.

If you are working in pediatrics it is especially important to stay on track of their health and monitoring because babies and young children can’t tell you what’s going on with them. Therefore,  if he is on oxygen and hooked up to a monitor to keep track of his O2 sats it might help his doctor if she knows what his levels have been. The adhesive that was holding the monitor on his foot had lost its stickiness (which is to be expected after 2 days) so the monitor would constantly lose its reading because it wasn’t picking up. I had informed the nurse of this twice and she didn’t appear to be bothered by it to change it. I would like to know what she put (if anything) as his reading for that day because I can assure you it would be inaccurate.

Another thing with babies when they are hospitalized is their output. Nurses usually keep the wet diapers to weigh them in order to measure intake and output. This also helps in determining dehydration because babies can become dehydrated very quickly. This one nurse did not once collect or ask about his diapers. By the end of the day I had told her how many he had as she hadn’t asked or seemed to care. Basically, the only thing this nurse did while on her shift was change out his IV when it was done and checked his temperature a couple of times. As I mentioned previously, I understand how busy nurses are and the nature of their work; however the way this nurse went about her job was completely unacceptable. Based on her actions (or lack thereof I should say), she did not gather or have enough information to provide an accurate report on my son for that day.

With that being said, I thought I would share this with other parents in the event that you need to take your child to a hospital. According to a recent study evaluated by Parents, these were found to be the 10 best children’s hospitals in the U.S.

10.) Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago

9.) Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus, Ohio

8.) University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, Ann Arbor

7.) Texas Children’s Hospital, Houston

6.) Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC

5.) Children’s Hospital Colorado, Aurora

4.) Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

3.) Cincinnati Children’s Hospital  Medical Center

2.) Boston Children’s Hospital

and the number one rated medical center out of children’s hospitals in the U.S. is . . .

1.) The Children’s Hospital of Philadelpia

These are the leading best children’s hospitals in the nation for routine care as well as difficult medical conditions so if you’re lucky enough to live near one of these, you might consider taking your child there. There is really no perfect hospital and there will be some flaws no matter where you go. Whether it’s food that tastes inedible or that one nurse who really doesn’t want to be there, if you have to experience a hospital stay there is likely going to be one unpleasant aspect out of it. We’re just all happy to be back home.




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