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Old 07.02.2013, 15:10
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experience with the Kinderspital Zürich?

Hi everyone,

My daughter is scheduled to have her tonsils and adenoids removed at the Kinderspital in late March. She is supposed to stay overnight at least one night, and I'd like to be there with her because she's only 4.

As far as I can tell from the website, children share rooms (we don't have private cover) and I can stay with her either in her room or nearby. My German isn't good enough to understand much more. So, does anyone have experience with surgery there? Do the children have shared rooms? If so, how do the parents manage the overnight stay? What about meals-is it on a set schedule or would she be able to snag a popsicle whenever she can manage it? Are the tours offered a good idea, or will they just terrify a four year old?

Thanks for any advice!
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Old 07.02.2013, 17:33
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Re: experience with the Kinderspital Zürich?

I haven't had to do an overnighter at the kinderspital, but my kids have had to be in hospital overnight in other hospitals, and we also go to the Kinderspital regularly for clinics...

From experience, definitely schedule someone to be with your child continuously for the entire time she is in hospital, make a roster, and take notes between the different carers ! Unfortunately, with so many doctors/nurses/cleaners/tea ladies etc coming through, it's easy to feel like the 'left hand does not know what the right hand is doing'....

When we stayed in hospital with our son, they had not-very-comfortable flip out sofas, and I've also just put the child's bed down on the lowest setting, and hopped right in with them! - it's not particularly comfortable, but it's possible... assuming they are in a 'bed' and not a 'cot'... you can put the side rails up to make sure no-one falls out...

I would definitely suggest taking a tour of the hospital and orientating yourself and your child. If you are a stressy person, go first with a friend or family member, and second time around with your child, so you can process it first and then remain calm and confident in your child's presence.

Don't stay in bed if you don't have to - get up and moving if the doctor says it's ok - you'll find play zones, interesting things to look at, and just generally a little fresh air and a way to waste time. Of course, don't do what we did and 'disappear' after being told the surgery was delayed, only to return 20 minutes later to find that they had rescheduled and you were expected in the theatre *right now* - leave a note on your bed if you do go for a walk, and let the nurses know, and leave your phone number.

For a while they didn't allow mobile phones in hospitals, but now they seem to be OK in some areas. So double-check.

Take lots of things that might interest a child, and things to keep you out of boredom too! Remember, she'll quite likely be attached to heart/oxygen monitors and/or drips in her hand, wrist or elbow, and this means not being able to comfortably use one or both hands. Check with the doctor what they will do - and warn your child.

A friend of mine had surgery on his forehead as a child, and unfortunately although his mum prepared him for having a bandage on his head, she didn't realise he'd also have both hands bandaged (mostly to stop him from touching his head ) - and he freaked out - soon as they took the bandages off his hands, he was fine, he could then play with his toy cars... and he never once tried to take the bandage off his head.

Explain to your child as much as you can, acknowledge the pain, and reassure them it will get better, but don't lie to them ("this won't hurt a bit")...

My son had a cavity filled this week at the dentist and it was fairly traumatic. He understood everything the dentist said. She kept saying 'finished' after every step, which was *very* confusing for him...because she wasn't finished...best to say 'a bit more'...we'll be finished soon...etc...
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Old 07.02.2013, 19:44
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Re: experience with the Kinderspital Zürich?

Great advice! I'm very worried about being "on" the whole time, i.e. being available for my daughter. I think I'll have to...ahem...make good with the mother-in-law. Or else fly in my mommy.

I think the overnight is just after the surgery, and I am fortunately able to sleep on hard floors due to the normal sleep schedules here at home. Still, since my little one is used to sleeping with me, I'm happy to know that we can sleep together

I can definitely take notes-I hope my German is good enough (or their English). I was planning on having the handy...uh...handy for my husband to call, but I'll check. I'll also ask about the monitors-I hadn't thought of that and was planning on a playmobil/sticker book/princess drawing book surprise to make things easier. I was also planning on bringing the infamous iPad with headphones, though I am worried that it would be bad for other children in the shared room (especially since our movies are all in English!). Maybe i can download some things in German, since my daughter understands it (and Disney movies are pretty easy to parse).

Despite all evidence to the contrary, I'm pretty okay with hospital situations, as they apply to anyone but my own offspring. But I feel really terrible doing this to my own kid, so dissolve into a wimpy mess.

And, I hated dentists. I once had 4 cavities in a single year. Lots of lidocane injections, drilling, and just before Easter. My parents had the grand idea to withhold all chocolate that Easter, and I was ridiculed by my chocolate-munching cousins. As it turns out, I had horrible kid-teeth and normal adult teeth. And I forgave my parents...eventually!
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Old 07.02.2013, 21:14
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Re: experience with the Kinderspital Zürich?

In my opinion/experience, the worst thing about being in the kids hospital is seeing other sick kids, much sicker than your own. It just adds to the trauma.... be prepared for that...

Flying in Grandma is probably a good idea !

I'm not sure if the hospital will have a 'protocol' about parents sleeping in the same bed with their children, but my experience is that I didn't ask, I just did it, and most staff didn't feel the need to comment. I slept with my little ones when they were born in hospital, and the nurses had to inform me of the 'protocol' about not taking any sleeping meds, and making sure the bedding was arranged in a safe way, but otherwise, they left me to make my own decision. Obviously a newborn is going to be more 'at risk' than a 4 year old...

My experience is that the hospital staff, especially surgeons and anaesthetists, did their utmost to make sure it was a positive experience, and in the scheme of things it was fine...

The anaesthetist is your best source of info about medication and possible side-effects of the general anesthetic - some kids spew or panic when they wake up from the general anaesthetic - my kids were absolutely fine, a little dozy/disoriented, but not distressed.... but be warned...

Sometimes they don't get you immediately after the child begins to wake from the anaesthetic - having seen a parent spewed on in the recovery room by their child...I understand why...the child is usually not very 'conscious' when they come round, and the nurses are there to respond to them and check they are Ok, and once they are stable (usually in 'normal' sleep) they get the parents in, and it's much better from there on. My son slept for quite a long time afterwards - 40 minutes I think or maybe even longer, before he was really awake and aware of what was going on...

I think the ipad with headphones is absolutely fine...
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Old 08.02.2013, 08:16
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Re: experience with the Kinderspital Zürich?

My daughter was in the Kinderspital for a few days when she was 4 and again a year later. The staff was always super nice and very patient. She stayed in a 4-bed room and all the moms (or dads) stayed overnight on portable beds beside their children. It gets kinda tight, but it's comfortable enough. I also got into bed with my daughter and that's no problem. The only thing that's a little hard to get used to is going to bed so early!
They have water and himbeer-sirup in the rooms and you can just help yourself. There's a kitchen with snacks and teas and a shower for the kids and parents- all of which you'll be shown when you arrive. My daughter also liked going down to the cafeteria with me for a tea.

Bring your own colouring books and markers and such, because although there's a playroom, I found that most kids preferred staying in their rooms. They have games and puzzles and there are TV's you can ask for.

Personally, I think 4 is a little young for a tour. Also, be prepared for a reaction from your daughter. Mine chose not to speak (except whisper to me) the entire time and to not put her pajamas on. The little girl next to her refused to have her hair brushed during her stay.

You can also take your cell phone everywhere except the operating area and I believe the recovery room. You can also go down with your child and stay with her while they "put her under"- the nurse comes with you and then brings you back up to the floor where you can wait, or you can go to the cafeteria with your phone and they call you when your child's in the recovery room where they bring you to sit with her until she wakes up.

Be prepared for a lot of different people examining her (med students, student nurses, etc.), sometimes it's hard to figure out who is who. But all in all the staff is very friendly, competent and caring.

Best wishes and a speedy recovery to your daughter!
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Old 08.02.2013, 10:56
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Re: experience with the Kinderspital Zürich?

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In my opinion/experience, the worst thing about being in the kids hospital is seeing other sick kids, much sicker than your own. It just adds to the trauma.... be prepared for that...
Oh yes. Just going to the ORL (ear, nose, throat, I think), we had to pass by the Cancer clinic door and I had to hug my girls extra hard.

As for the after effects of anesthesia, I guess I'll wear black!
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Old 08.02.2013, 11:09
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Re: experience with the Kinderspital Zürich?

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My daughter was in the Kinderspital for a few days when she was 4 and again a year later. The staff was always super nice and very patient. She stayed in a 4-bed room and all the moms (or dads) stayed overnight on portable beds beside their children. It gets kinda tight, but it's comfortable enough. I also got into bed with my daughter and that's no problem. The only thing that's a little hard to get used to is going to bed so early!
They have water and himbeer-sirup in the rooms and you can just help yourself. There's a kitchen with snacks and teas and a shower for the kids and parents- all of which you'll be shown when you arrive. My daughter also liked going down to the cafeteria with me for a tea.

Bring your own colouring books and markers and such, because although there's a playroom, I found that most kids preferred staying in their rooms. They have games and puzzles and there are TV's you can ask for.

Personally, I think 4 is a little young for a tour. Also, be prepared for a reaction from your daughter. Mine chose not to speak (except whisper to me) the entire time and to not put her pajamas on. The little girl next to her refused to have her hair brushed during her stay.

You can also take your cell phone everywhere except the operating area and I believe the recovery room. You can also go down with your child and stay with her while they "put her under"- the nurse comes with you and then brings you back up to the floor where you can wait, or you can go to the cafeteria with your phone and they call you when your child's in the recovery room where they bring you to sit with her until she wakes up.

Be prepared for a lot of different people examining her (med students, student nurses, etc.), sometimes it's hard to figure out who is who. But all in all the staff is very friendly, competent and caring.

Best wishes and a speedy recovery to your daughter!
Thanks for all the tips. I'm nervous about all the different people, as my daughter is very very shy.

Four kids per room? Whoa! Sounds chaotic. My little one sleeps late and wakes late, so I think this will be quite hard for her.

I've been saving some things for the hospital and two week recovery period afterwards, so it's good to know that I should have a coffer of fun things in the room. I am also thinking of bringing her doctor toy set and a bear so that she can examine the bear or that I can ask the students to show on the bear what they will do with her. Maybe that will help with the shyness and give her a sense of control.

It's good to know that there is a kitchen available-I just know she'll get hungry in the middle of the night!
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Old 08.02.2013, 11:34
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Re: experience with the Kinderspital Zürich?

My daughter (and I) spent almost a week there a couple of years ago.

Like has been already said, it was a shared room, but it was fine. Our room was an isolation room because all the kids in it had pneumonia or something like that. I remember it was unbearably hot and my daughter wasn't allowed to go to the playroom.

But really, I can't fault the care my daughter received at all. All the doctors and nurses were fantastic. I was very glad I spoke some German, because not all the nurses spoke English, and neither did the other parents.

But in a situation like that (we didn't know we were going to end up staying in the hospital) you make the best of it. I struck up a temporary friendship with another mother, which meant we could take it in turns to go to the cafeteria to pick up a cup of tea etc, and it was just nice having someone else there sharing the experience with me; it just made the whole thing more bearable.

Definitely have someone else to stay with your daughter while you go and eat or just go for a walk in the fresh air.

I brought in my laptop and headphones so I could watch a movie or do some work after my daughter went to sleep.

Good luck,

Kate
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Old 08.02.2013, 11:58
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Re: experience with the Kinderspital Zürich?

Presumably Dad can also do a shift of looking after your daughter.

Cheers,
Nick
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Old 08.02.2013, 13:29
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Re: experience with the Kinderspital Zürich?

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Presumably Dad can also do a shift of looking after your daughter.

Cheers,
Nick
Yes, he's very willing to do his share. However, we have two kids, so only one of us will be able to do the overnight stay.
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Old 08.02.2013, 13:31
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Re: experience with the Kinderspital Zürich?

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My daughter (and I) spent almost a week there a couple of years ago.

Like has been already said, it was a shared room, but it was fine. Our room was an isolation room because all the kids in it had pneumonia or something like that. I remember it was unbearably hot and my daughter wasn't allowed to go to the playroom.

But really, I can't fault the care my daughter received at all. All the doctors and nurses were fantastic. I was very glad I spoke some German, because not all the nurses spoke English, and neither did the other parents.

But in a situation like that (we didn't know we were going to end up staying in the hospital) you make the best of it. I struck up a temporary friendship with another mother, which meant we could take it in turns to go to the cafeteria to pick up a cup of tea etc, and it was just nice having someone else there sharing the experience with me; it just made the whole thing more bearable.

Definitely have someone else to stay with your daughter while you go and eat or just go for a walk in the fresh air.

I brought in my laptop and headphones so I could watch a movie or do some work after my daughter went to sleep.

Good luck,

Kate
Thanks! I am hoping that there won't be any complications, in which case she will only stay for 24 hours. And I'll definitely be bringing my laptop!
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