What to Expect During Your Visit 

There are a lot of different reasons why you might need to go to the hospital. Maybe you fell off your bike and broke your arm. Or you have a really high fever and don’t feel well. Maybe you have trouble breathing because you have asthma.

The hospital emergency department is where you go when you need medical care right away. It may seem a big, busy place, but it really is pretty cool. Everyone who works there wants to help you feel better and they have all kinds of neat equipment and stuff to help them do that.

When you first arrive, your parent will usually sign in at the front desk and let the person there know what your problem is. You will see a doctor if you need really fast medical care, but if not, then you may have to go to the waiting room for a little while. Because this waiting area is just for kids, they have reading and coloring books, a TV, and even handheld electronic games that you can play to keep you busy until you are taken back to an exam room. For most minor emergencies, kids arrive at the hospital, are treated, and can leave in a little over one hour.

When it’s your turn, you will go to an exam room where you will see a bed for you and a chair where your mom or dad can sit to keep you company. These rooms are decorated just for kids and have neat designs painted on the walls. 

When the doctor arrives, he or she will talk with your parents about your medical condition and then examine you. Depending on what is wrong, the doctor may order different tests, such as blood tests. Sometimes other tests that use special cameras, like a X-ray, may be done to see if there are problems with the bones or tissues inside your body. Just remember, you can ask the doctor or nurse to explain any of these tests if you have any questions or don’t understand something.

Most kids go home the same day after arriving at the hospital and the doctor figures out what is wrong. Sometimes your parents may need to get a prescription filled at the pharmacy in your neighborhood for some medicine that the doctor wants you to take after you go back home. Other times, some kids may have to spend the night in the hospital. But don’t worry, your mom or dad can stay in the room with you then too.

It’s perfectly normal to be a little nervous about going to the hospital, but your parents can stay with you the whole time. And you’ll probably see other kids in the emergency room who are not feeling well just like you. Don’t forget that the people who work there want to help you feel better and they will do everything they can to help make you feel more comfortable!

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