if my child is hospitalized?
- The emergency service provider who determined that the child
is in need of hospital level care must find a hospital placement
or a “bed.” Your insurance will determine which hospitals
can be contacted to determine if there is a “bed” available.
You can request a specific hospital, but space must be available.
- Your child should be transported directly by ambulance to that
hospital. You can ride with them or go separately.
- Once at the hospital, a psychiatrist or psychiatric nurse will
do an admission interview. This interview should include
documentation of current medications as well as reason for admission.
The nursing staff will show the child the room and the hospital
unit and explain the schedule and rules. You should accompany
the child through this procedure and receive all this information
before you leave including the visiting hours and communication
- You will be asked to sign the child into the hospital, give
permission for emergency medical treatment including medication
if needed, and give a list of contact restrictions for your child.
- Treatment assignment happens the morning after a child arrives.
A psychiatrist and therapist/case manager are assigned. They
should contact you immediately and meet with you as soon as possible.
You can call the nursing station of the unit on which your child
is placed to determine who is assigned and how to get in touch
with them. Your child will also be assigned a nurse who is responsible
for monitoring the medication and his daily experience on the
- The hospital will have a daily schedule including group and
individual meetings, meals, recreation, etc. The hospital
therapist/case manager should be in contact with those professionals
outside of the hospital working with your child. The hospital
psychiatrist should contact the doctor prescribing medication
for your child. The hospital should hold several
meetings during you child’s stay to address his progress
and needs; one should be to plan for discharge. The average stay
is about a week.
- A discharge plan must include, at minimum, a timely scheduled
appointment with a therapist and a psychiatrist if your child
is being prescribed medication. The hospital therapist/
case manager should also coordinate with your child’s school
to create an appropriate reentry plan.
- The hospital case manager reviews your child progress regularly
with your insurance company’s hospital utilization representative
to determine the length of stay and the aftercare plan. You
can and should advocate with both the hospital staff and the
insurance company if you believe your child requires more care
than is being offered.