Published on November 13th, 2013 | by jackiefetter


Navigating Hospital Procedures With Your Child

From Finding a Doctor, Giving Blood, to Putting Them Under

Both of my children have had the unfortunate need to spend time in the hospital, one more then the other but nevertheless it has taught us a lot about our medical system.  We are very fortunate to have worked with some of the most amazing doctors and had our children treated with the utmost care!  Often the first thing is finding a doctor.  When you give birth in Alberta a
Pediatrician is present at the time which you can use.  In Edmonton we are also lucky to have amazing services such as the pediatric Center at the U of A Hospital where any doctor is amazing and they have numerous other pediatritians around them to bounce ideas off.  Not just the doctors are fantastic there, but the nurses rock!!  Many a day when the kids were younger I would call in, panicked and overwhelmed to be talked down with their reassuring demeanour.

Giving blood is a very stressful thing for both kids and parents alike!  I think it was worse for me then the kids….. At the young ages I really recommend going to somewhere like the hospital labs that work with kids on a regular basis.  We went to a local lab once and the person was new, not her fault but she missed the vein etc = total nightmare…. That is when we learned about requesting butterfly needles that are smaller and better for their veins, we were told.  Can’t say I know why but it makes my kids feel like they have more control when they walk in and say,”Butterfly Needle, Please!”  We also bought Boo Boo Bear, a small orange squishy toy that is the size of their little hands.  He comes to the hospital with us and gives them something familiar to focus on when they need to make the fist.  It also gives me something to help them feel at ease, “Give Boo Boo a big hug! Or Squish that little bear!”

Having your child put to sleep has to be one of the most traumatic things I have experienced.  Bring their stuffy and lots to do as the waiting room can be boring and we have been bumped up to 3 hours.  The first time our child fought so hard we had to hold as they gassed, at which time they fall immediately limp in your grasp………  We then were lucky enough to have an amazing anesthesiologist that gave us some incredible tips!  Our one child has now been put to sleep over 10 times and whenever we used his method it was good, when we wavered to do it other ways, not so smooth.  We have since learned that we need to advocate for our child’s needs as a patient, by sharing what works.  Hospitals do have different rules, ask your doctor in advance it you have any questions.  Ours have been amazing at answering questions and putting us at ease.

The tips he gave us were:
– both go in – one have the child sit on their lap, hands and the child’s legs wrapping around the parents back
– the other parent holds the hand that is not having the IV go in, get the child to look in their eyes, and just start talking, we usually had a surprise that we would reveal at this time so that their mind went elsewhere (My issue – they always needed an awesome reason to wake up)
– then the doctor can do their magic and the process is much more casual, they count backwards, going to sleep quickly but not suddenly!!

Recovery is fast for us now, popsicle, walk, bathroom, home…. We know the drill and have been blessed over and over with amazing care!!

Life Lesson:  The hospital does not have to be scary and you can have control..


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About the Author


Jackie is a wife and mom first in all that she does and an adventurer, philanthropist, and friend.

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