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Your Child in the Hospital: A Practical Guide for Parents Paperback – April 1, 2015
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"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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Parents who have gone through a child's illness contribute their own stories to the book. One, for example says: "I told them the first day to treat me like a medical student. I asked them to share all information, current studies, lab results, everything, with me. I told them, in advance, that I hoped they wouldn't be offended by lots of questions, because knowledge was a comfort to me." If a doctor, as another parent relates, pats you on the head and says to not worry your head about it, you have the right to insist on the information.
And then Keene adds this: "Don't let anyone talk in front of your child as if she is not there." What a great piece of advice, and so easy to forget. One of the themes running through the advice in "Your Child in the Hospital" is that you need to give the child as much control (and credit) as is feasible. Maybe she doesn't get to chose whether or not to take a pill. But she can decide whether she wants to take it with chocolate milk or pudding.
Keene also gives advice that only an insider might know. For example, if the hospital is a teaching hospital, your child might be visited by large groups of students. This doesn't have to be a bad experience, but if it upsets the child, or if it's just a bad day, you have the right to say no to the group visit.
There's also a later chapter on hospital billings. A hospital is a huge bureaucracy. Complicated bills frequently have expensive errors. If you don't have the time to go through each bill thoroughly, perhaps a friend or relative can help you.
The only place where I'd make a change in this book is the chapter on dealing with schools and homework. Eight years ago, my straight-A daughter was sick for four months. After we met with the teachers and assistant principal, the school offered her enrollment in an alternative college-prep school where she met with the teachers only once a week. This was invaluable, as she could not attend regular school. To my horror, though, I recently heard from a teacher that the mother of a similarly ill student was not being told of this option, or of even the Home Hospital option - the teacher felt that the school district was not volunteering the information because these options are expensive for it. So, I would recommend to Nancy Keene that her wording, regarding parents' advocating with the school, be stated more strongly. Do not assume the school will tell you what options you have - to be fair, it could be that the teachers think administration is contacting you and administration may assume that if you don't ask you don't need it. The parent may need to ask and may even need to be a pest. But it will be worth it. My daughter, for example, may have had to repeat 9th grade without the alternative school.
As someone who's had two kids with hospital stays, I found "Your Child in the Hospital" a great book - one that would have been helpful at the time.
I received a free copy of "Your Child in the Hospital" for review.
This book deals with everything from emergency room visits to short-term and long-term stays. There are tips on how to help your child cope with the normal fears and concerns they will have being in a new situation. Parents will appreciate the section on how to communicate with doctors. Getting kids to swallow pills is a challenging situation but this book has some good ideas to make it more fun.
If you are a family member or friend supporting a family who has a child in the hospital there is also a section just for you. You will learn what to do and not do to make things more pleasant for all concerned.
Lastly, but not least there is a special section on dealing with insurance.
Basically what this book aims to do is to make a hospital stay safer and more comfortable. I've never seen another resource like this so I think it is very needed. Highly Recommended!
~The Rebecca Review
I received one free book in exchange for a review. This review is my honest opinion.
Keene's book can help parents and caregivers to prepare a child in advance of a first hospitalization, or to alleviate anxiety and provide coping tools for a child during their stay. The book also provides insights for parents who need to guide a child through medical scans (MRI, CT, etc) in an outpatient setting.
Hospitals and child life programs should provide this reassuring book to parents as part of the pre-operative tours they offer to children and their families. Specialty clinic nurse practitioners (endocrinology, neurology, hematology, etc) who work with children prone to unpredictable emergency hospitalizations would do well to give this book to parents so they and their children are prepared with the practical information and emotional tools they need when they land in the emergency department or face an abrupt admission.
financial issues such as insurance and paying for care. Appendices include a hospital journal for children, a packing list, and lists of helpful resources such as books for children, parents and siblings and sources of financial help. Chapters include practical tips to help parents make an incredibly stressful experience more bearable. Also included are quotes from families of sick children, providing advice and reassurance. Highly recommended.