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transitional care unit

comprehensive care for children with a serious, chronic illness

The transitional care unit (TCU) at Dayton Children’s is dedicated to caring for children who are chronically ill, dependent on medical technology and/or require close observation. Children usually stay on the TCU for a week to several months, but some stay longer than a year. It is no surprise that our staff develops a special bond with these children and close relationships with their families!

Here are some examples of the kinds of medically complex patients who come to the TCU for care:

  • Babies who have “graduated” from the neonatal intensive care unit but are not quite ready to go home
  • Children who are recovering from airway reconstruction surgery and require mechanical breathing assistance
  • Children who have experienced a traumatic injury or stroke
  • Children who are experiencing frequent seizures
  • Children with digestive disorders requiring a feeding tube

Many of our patients are dependent on medical technology such as a ventilator or feeding pump. Others have had a tracheostomy (a procedure to create an artificial airway to help them breathe). Our goal is to provide these children with the best possible care and help them make a safe transition to home. This involves providing extensive training for parents. Our nurses and other care providers offer classes, bedside instruction and even home visits (as needed) to make sure that parents are well prepared for the day their child is ready to come home.

Our nursing team works with other care providers to give children and parents the support they need during and after a stay in the transitional care unit.

child life

Child life specialists focus on helping your child cope with the challenges of hospitalization, illness, injury, treatment and procedures. Their goal it to make your child’s hospital stay as positive and kid-friendly as possible! Learn more

rehabilitative services

Rehabilitation therapy can help children reach their physical and developmental potential. If you child needs rehabilitation therapy during a stay on the transitional care unit, therapists will engage your child in play activities that utilize proven techniques to make therapy fun and effective. Learn more

social work/discharge planning 

Social workers at Dayton Children’s help families find the resources they need during and after a hospital stay in the transitional care unit. Learn more

nutritional support

Dieticians and dietetic technicians at Dayton Children’s evaluate patients and provide personalized nutrition plans to ensure that children on the transitional care unit receive the nutrition they need. Learn more

respiratory care

Respiratory therapists provide bedside therapy, as well as training to help parents care for their child’s breathing issues. Learn more

home care

Children’s Home Care of Dayton provides many services for families who are caring for a chronically ill child at home. Services include parent education, nursing care, drug therapy, rehabilitation therapy and much more. Learn more

while you’re here visitation

Learn more about services available to patient families while staying at Dayton children’s. Everything from our food options to overnight accommodations.

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Are you interested in visiting a patient in our critical care unit? Learn more about visiting hours and policies in our visitors section.

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