Questions For Your Child’s Stay - Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

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Frequently Asked Questions About Your
Pediatric or Adolescent Inpatient Stay

The RIC Pediatric and Adolescent clinical team has gathered answers to frequently asked questions from families and loved ones to help you as you transition your care to RIC. The clinical staff is available to answer any further questions that you have during your stay at RIC.

What should we expect when we arrive?

Welcoming you and your loved ones to RIC

On the day of admission, you and your child will be greeted by staff in the RIC Pediatric and Adolescent Program, and shown to your child’s room.

  • Medical staff will complete an evaluation of your child.
  • A staff member will provide an orientation to the rehabilitation program on the Pediatric and Adolescent unit, which serves patient under age 18.
  • Therapy will begin the day after admission.

Who will be taking care of my child?

The RIC Expert Clinical Team

Your child’s treatment team will likely include:

  • Attending Physicians: View the current listing of RIC Physicians
  • Resident Physicians: A resident physician will be assigned to your child’s care, although resident physicians do rotate periodically throughout the hospital.
  • Nurses: During each shift, a primary rehabilitation nurse will be assigned to your child’s care, although your child will work with many nurses during his or her stay. The nurses also will keep you up-to-date on your child’s medical status and specific care procedures.
  • Patient Care Technicians (PCT): Each shift your child will have a primary PCT, also known as a nurse’s aide. The PCT will assist with bathing, dressing, toileting, feeding, and getting ready for therapy.
  • Physical Therapists: Physical Therapists focus on activities to improve strength, balance and mobility.
  • Occupational Therapists: Occupational Therapists focus on activities to improve participation in daily self-care activities as well as activities that support your child’s return to play/school/community activities.
  • Speech Language Pathologists: Speech Language pathologists focus on activities to improve communication skills, thinking skills, and swallowing.
  • Psychologist: Every patient at RIC receives the services of a psychologist. Psychologists teach coping skills to help patients and families adjust to illness or injury and to being in the hospital.
  • Care Manager:  One Care Manager, either a licensed social worker or a nurse, will be assigned to your child during his or her stay. Your Care Manager will coordinate all aspects of your child’s care, including communicating with your insurance company. The Care Manager will also coordinate your child’s discharge by arranging for your child’s follow-up care and providing information on community resources and government entitlements.
  • Child Life Specialist: The Child Life Specialist helps your child understand medical tests and procedures and participate in recreational activities both on and off the patient care unit.
  • Chaplains, Respiratory Therapists, Wound Care Nurses: Other specialists are also available to address your child’s specific needs.

What should we bring?

Useful items during your stay

  • Bring comfortable clothes and shoes that are easy for your child to  move around in.
  • Bring all assistive equipment your child already uses. This includes items such as a wheelchair, walker, forearm crutches, gait trainer, splints, AFOs, orthotics, hearing aids, eyeglasses, and communication devices.
  • Bring your child’s personal toiletries.
  • Bring a few personal items such as a favorite toy, book, photograph, etc.
  • Please leave valuables at home as the hospital cannot be responsible for them (For example: jewelry, electronics, etc).

What is the pediatric and adolescent unit like?

Patient rooms, multi-purpose rooms, and facilities

  • Patient rooms on the Pediatric and Adolescent Unit are typically shared by two children.
  • Your child’s room will be equipped with a television, phone,  bathroom with shower, and pull-out bed for one family member to stay overnight
  • There is a multi-purpose room on the unit, which is a community room with dining tables, televisions, games, toys, video game systems, and a refrigerator for storing food from home.
  • Wireless internet is available
  • Free laundry facilities are available on the unit and detergent is provided.
  • The Child Life Room contains a variety of leisure time items for the patients in the Pediatric Program.  

What happens on a typical day?

A typical day at RIC

  • Therapy Schedule
    • Typically your child will receive 3 hours of therapy per day Monday through Friday and 2 hours of therapy total on the weekend (Sat-Sun).
    • Initial therapy evaluations will occur the day after your child is admitted to RIC.
    • Therapy sessions are scheduled between 7 am and 6 pm.
    • Your child will receive both one-on-one therapy as well as group therapy sessions.
    • Your child will receive a printed therapy schedule every evening for the next day.
  • Therapists
    • A team of primary therapists will manage your child’s care. Your child will also receive care from our Pediatric Program Team of therapists, who work closely together.
    • We have a team-based approach at RIC and all of our therapists are familiar with your child’s condition, goals, and what to focus on during therapy sessions. They will work closely with the physicians, nurses, PCTs, care managers,  and other members of your child’s treatment team.
    • Therapists make rehabilitation fun for your child by using games, activities, sports, and equipment to strengthen muscles, increase range of motion, and improve coordination, memory, attention span, and daily living skills.
  • Morning Rounds
    • The physicians make rounds every morning, typically before 10 am.
    •  During these visits to your child, you will have a chance to speak to your child’s doctor and ask questions.
  • Team Conference
    • One morning every week, your child will have a brief weekly team conference attended by physicians, nurses, care managers, and therapists to discuss progress, goals, durable medical equipment, the ongoing plan of care, and discharge planning.
    • Since family participation is considered essential to children’s success at RIC, parents are invited and encouraged to attend this private conference. Your Care Manager will let you know the location, day, and time of your child’s weekly team conference.
  • Pass Options
    •  At some point during your child’s stay, you and your child may have the option to leave the building on pass. If cleared by your doctor, you may be given an “area pass” to go out in the surrounding neighborhood.
    • Families may also receive “home passes” if directed by your child’s doctor. All scheduled therapy sessions must be completed before leaving on pass. Your child must return to the Pediatric and Adolescent Unit by 8 pm. 

What are other available therapy and school services?

Therapies available as directed by the physician and therapists

  • School services
    • School services are provided to all students enrolled in the Chicago Public School System (CPS).
    • If your child is not enrolled in CPS, with permission from your child’s school district it may still be possible to receive school services.
    • School services are typically 30-60 minutes each school day when the Chicago Public Schools are in session.

Visitor Information

We encourage visitors and want to make families and friends feel at home at RIC. Visiting hours are between 8 am and 8 pm. For security reasons, all visitors are required to sign in at the lobby desk and obtain a visitor identification badge.

For general visitor information, including directions & parking, visiting policy, and personal services for patients, please visit the RIC Visitor Guide.

  • One adult (over 18 years of age) may stay overnight with their child in the room.
  • Visitors under the age of 15 must be accompanied by an adult.
  • Visits by children under 6 years of age require a doctor’s order.

For more information, please view the RIC visiting policy, and information on RIC dining services and support services