answers to common questions about the PICU
Below are answers to questions you may have during your child’s stay on the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Dayton Children’s. If you need more information, please talk to your child’s nurse or anyone else who works on the PICU. We are here to provide the support you need!
what is family-centered care?
At Dayton Children’s, parents are important members of the care team. We want them to understand their child’s condition, be involved in treatment decisions and feel comfortable asking questions. Parents are welcome and encouraged to be in the child’s room at all times, even when the staff is doing procedures, and to spend the night in the child’s room if possible.
Family-centered rounds are an opportunity for parents and other family members to share their thoughts, impressions and concerns. These take place every morning in the child’s hospital room. During rounds, the child’s pediatric intensivist meets with parents, caregivers and the rest of the care team (other specialists, resident physicians, nurses and other providers). Your input is vital! If you are not able to attend rounds or prefer not to participate, a member of the care team can talk with you privately about what was discussed.
where can I sleep?
Every room in the PICU has an adult-sized bed, and we strongly encourage a parent to stay the night during their child’s hospital stay. Room accommodations also are available just across the street at the Ronald McDonald House and there are also a number of nearby hotels. Learn more about overnight accommodation options.
is there somewhere I can relax?
The PICU offers a family lounge that also serves as a waiting room for families when their child is undergoing surgery. The lounge has comfortable seating and is equipped with a washing machine, clothes dryer and shower. Ronald McDonald House serves free meals in the lounge, and a volunteer often is available to provide support and help families fill out an application for lodging at Ronald McDonald House. Learn more about Ronald McDonald House
what are your visiting guidelines?
Parents are the most important member of a child’s care team, and are welcome to visit anytime. Grandparents, siblings and family friends are welcome, too. However, between 11 a.m. and 8 p.m., no children under the age of 12 are permitted in the PICU unless they are siblings of the patient. Any children visiting in the PICU must be fully immunized and show no signs of illness. All minors must be accompanied by an adult.
Visiting hours may be restricted if there is a community-wide contagious disease outbreak such as flu, whooping cough, etc. When this is the case, we will communicate the information on our website and on signs throughout the hospital.
where can I eat?
Ronald McDonald House serves light meals in the PICU family lounge, and the hospital cafeteria serves three meals a day every day. For your convenience the PICU also has a small kitchenette equipped with a sink, coffee maker and microwave.
can you help me with transportation, lodging, etc. while my child is in the PICU?
No one plans on having a child admitted to the PICU! We are here to help you and your family by providing the support you need. We will connect you with hospital staff, including our social worker, as well as with community resources. Please let a nurse know what you need and she will find the right person to help.
when can my child go home?
After a stay in the PICU, most children are transferred to a general pediatric floor at Dayton Children’s before going home. Your child’s care team will talk to you on a regular basis about the next steps in your child’s care.