what to expect - medical stay, no surgery

A hospital stay is not something most children look forward to. At St. Mary's Hospital, we make it as pleasant for you and your child as possible.

Although there are many reasons why your child may need to be admitted to the hospital, some non-surgical reasons include:

  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Failure to thrive
  • Blood transfusions
  • Hyperbilirubinemia
  • Dehydration

Your child may be admitted from the Emergency Department or have been sent directly to the hospital following their physician's direction.

What to Expect

Your child's stay begins with Patient Registration, which is located on the ground floor at the Bremo Road entrance. This is where you will sign in and deliver any paperwork that your child will need for his or her visit. A registrar will ask you questions about your child. It's always a good idea to bring the following information with you:

  • Your child's insurance information
  • A list of your child's physicians
  • A list of medications, vitamins and supplements that your child is taking and the amount that he or she takes
  • A list of any allergies that your child has, including medication allergies
  • Any legal guardianship paperwork

Staying on the Sixth Floor

Once your child is admitted, he or she will be taken to the Pediatric Unit, which is located in the west wing of the sixth floor. In the Pediatric Unit, your child will be weighed and measured, and a nurse will ask a series of questions concerning your child's medical history and will review the physician orders. Your child may be asked to change into a hospital gown or his or her pajamas.

If lab work or an IV is needed, your child will be taken to the treatment room and not his or her patient room for the procedure. We do not want your child to associate his or her room with pain. Your child may or may not have a roommate, depending on the diagnosis.

A Few Favorite Things

Before coming to the hospital for an overnight stay, we recommend that you pack a bag for your child. A few items that we suggest you bring include:

  • Pajamas, bathrobe, and slippers
  • Loose-fitting, comfortable clothes for everyday wear
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Comb and brush
  • Your child's favorite game, toys, or books
  • Any schoolbooks or schoolwork
  • A favorite blanket or stuffed animal

Please label any belongings that you bring for your child.

Keeping Your Child Safe

Your child's safety is a top priority at St. Mary's Hospital and all of the hospitals in the Bon Secours Richmond Health System. The doors to enter the Pediatric Unit at St. Mary's are always locked. To enter the unit, ring the doorbell. You may be asked to identify yourself.

Staying with Your Child

St. Mary's Hospital provides a sleeper chair and linens for parents or guardians who want to stay overnight with their child. You can request these from the staff. We ask that only ONE adult stay overnight. If you stay overnight and need to leave the hospital, please reenter through the Emergency Department.

Visiting Hours

Visiting hours are from 11:00 a.m. until 8:30 p.m. We ask that you limit the number of visitors in your child's room to three people. Although visitors may bring gifts for patients, latex balloons are not allowed in the hospital because some people are allergic to latex. If you or your child's guest would like to bring balloons, please bring Mylar balloons.

Helpful Amenities at Your Service

Having a child in the hospital can be disruptive to your life. At St. Mary's Hospital, we provide many services that you will need to make your stay with your child as comfortable as possible—just like being at home, with a few extras.

  • Cafeteria. The cafeteria is located on the Lobby level and is open from 6:30 a.m. until 7:00 p.m.
  • Chapel. If you need quiet time or spiritual guidance, the St. Mary's non-denominational chapel is located on the lobby level.
  • Chaplains. The Pastoral Care Department is available to offer spiritual services to you and your child 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Please call 804-287-PRAY [7729] or ask a staff member to page the Chaplain on call.
  • Newspapers. St. Mary's provides free newspapers Monday through Friday. On weekends, you can purchase the paper in the gift shop.
  • Parking. St. Mary's Hospital offers free parking as well as free valet service. Valet parking is offered from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. After 5:00 p.m., dial "0" to retrieve your keys. We also offer security escorts if you have to walk to your car after dark.
  • Telephone. You can make and receive calls in your child's room. To get an outside line, just dial "6." You cannot make long-distance calls from the room phone unless you use a pre-paid calling card.
  • Television. Each room offers cable television with access to the St. Mary's educational channels and a VCR/DVD player. Just look for the remote in the handheld nurse call bell.
  • Video Library. A wide selection of video games and movies for all ages is available from our video library that can be viewed in your child's room. You can request these from the staff.
  • Washer/Dryer. A free washer and dryer are available to parents and guardians. We also provide the detergent.

Telephone adaptors and closed-caption television is available for the hearing and sight impaired. Interpreters are available for non-English speaking patients.

John Beverly Rankin Playroom

Our playroom is available to ambulatory patients, with physician's permission, where play is unhindered by procedures or equipment. This child-friendly room is filled with age-appropriate games to keep your child occupied while staying in the hospital. We will also provide activities in your child's room.


Discharge Planning

Discharge planning begins as soon as your child is admitted to the hospital. When your child is ready to leave the hospital, you will be given instructions on how to help your child recover more quickly. These instructions may also include information about new medications.

A staff member will bring your child to the Discharge Area, located at the corner of Libbie and Monument Avenues, where you can pick him or her up.

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