Chapter 3: The visit

When children first arrive

When children first arrive and before entering the patient’s room, if time permits, give them a tour, including the nursing station, bathrooms, kitchen, and family room. Point out and explain different signs (e.g., isolation precautions).  Preparing the child can help them feel comfortable during their visit and minimize the initial shock and possible negative reactions when they first see their loved one.

Conversation Prompts

“While we are walking, do you notice anything you have questions about”?

Entering the patient’s room

Before entering the room, do a final check-in to see if the child or youth have additional questions or worries. Encourage parents to create ways for the child to signal that they need a break (e.g., a prearranged signal such as an ear tug can). The usual guidelines are to have the child accompanied by someone they trust and feel safe with.

How children may react

Children may have a wide range of reactions. Click on the arrows to view some of these.

All of these are natural reactions.

Clinician Tip