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Working together

As a parent, you know your child. As health care providers, we know pediatric medicine. That's why it's so important to us to work together with you, your family and your caregivers to manage the health of the one child who matters most, yours. We do this by including you in our nurse shift report while your child is hospitalized, teaching you any specialized care your child may need once you've returned home and by assuring open communication.

Parent involvement in nurse shift report

When your child is hospitalized, it can be a confusing and scary time, and you may have a lot of questions like, "Are the lab results back?" "When is the doctor coming?"

While Cook Children's offers quality care, we know that parents are the best resource when it comes to their child. As such, nurses involve parents in shift to shift reports at 6:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m., at the bedside, using the electronic medical record.

This practice provides an opportunity for parents to have a better understanding of the treatment plan and to ask questions and give feedback. When appropriate, depending on age and ability to understand, your child may also participate.

Involving families in the report process has improved communication and helps families take part in the plan of care.


Some children need specialized care at home. To ensure that you are prepared to provide this care, we will teach you how to confidently perform the necessary tasks at home. This might include CPR training, using and caring for a G-button, giving medication, car seat safety and other training specific to your child's care.

Our training involves the teach-back method, which allows us to make sure you fully understand the information being taught by having you “teach” us what you've just learned.

Of course, we're always available if you have any questions.

Open communication

Additionally, we encourage parents and providers to keep communication lines open, while here at the hospital and throughout your child's care.

As a parent it means:

  • Asking questions, especially if I don't understand what the care provider is telling or showing me.
  • Helping develop a plan for controlling my child's pain and providing comfort.
  • Respecting the care provider's knowledge and skills as a health professional.
  • Telling the care provider my concerns in a clear and kind way.
  • Participating in the planning and care of my child at my level of comfort.

As a care provider it means:

  • Explaining information in a way that you and your child can understand.
  • Delivering excellent care in managing the pain and comfort level of your child.
  • Respecting that you know your child best and welcoming your ideas and concerns.
  • Encouraging you to participate in rounding, bedside shift report and care planning for your child's procedures and treatments.