Patient Resources
Preparing for a Hospital Stay

Tips to Prepare for Your Overnight Stay

Visiting the hospital for an overnight stay can be frightening for you and your child. At Cincinnati Children’s, we take many steps to make this time comfortable for your entire family. We can answer some of the questions you might have as you and your child prepare for your hospital stay.

Please have the following items:

  • Your insurance or medical card
  • Completed physical exam form, if you received one from your doctor
  • Record of all medicines and dosages your child takes regularly
  • Proof of guardianship for court-appointed guardian
We can help with your travel plans, find lodging, and schedule your child’s multiple appointments when your child needs to see several specialists in separate divisions. Read more about our Services for Traveling Patients.

We will supply diapers, hospital gowns, pajama bottoms and slipper socks. But personal items are important to children in the hospital. You may want to bring:

  • Comfortable daytime clothing
  • Favorite nightgown, pajamas or robe
  • Slippers or shoes
  • Special comfort item (such as a bottle, book, toy or blanket)
  • Special photo or photo album
  • Music and DVDs of favorite movies (rated G, PG, or PG-13)
  • School books and assignments (Our School Program has certified teachers to help with school during your child's stay)
  • Containers for glasses, contact lenses, hearing aids

Families have recommended items to help you be more comfortable during your child’s stay:

  • Comfortable clothes and shoes
  • Sweater or light jacket
  • Medicines you take regularly
  • Change for vending machines
  • Items that help you pass time, such as books, magazines, music, laptop computer, knitting
  • Journal for writing notes and questions

Patients age 18 or older who have the ability to make an informed decision have the right to make their own medical treatment decisions. You also have the right to draft an advance directive that gives instructions for healthcare in case you are no longer able to participate in treatment decisions. For more information or copies of advance directive forms:

  • Admitting, 513-636-4207
  • Social Services, 513-636-4711
  • Talk to your nurse or doctor

If you or your doctor feels your child is not able to understand the risks and benefits of medical treatment and cannot make informed medical decisions, you must arrange for a legal guardian to be appointed for that purpose. To obtain legal guardianship for an adult child, parents must apply to the probate court in the county where the child lives. For more information, contact a lawyer or the probate court.

A Family Guide

Family Guide.

Learn more by downloading our booklet, Your Stay at Cincinnati Children’s: A Family Guide.

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