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When Children are Patients: Emerson Hospital
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When Children Are Patients


For Children

When your child is a patient at Emerson Hospital, both you and your child benefit from the advanced pediatric care of expert pediatricians and nurses, pediatric hospitalists, neonatologists, pediatric medical, surgical and psychiatric sub-specialists, child life specialists, technicians and support staff.

This comprehensive team administers the most current technologies and treatments, while remaining sensitive to the emotional and psychological needs of children of all ages. Each child who enters the hospital will receive quality, family-centered medicine integrated with positive and holistic care. Your expertise as a parent is respected as a highly valued part of your child’s total care.

Pediatric Physicians

Emerson’s Department of Pediatrics is privileged to have over 35 experienced pediatricians and five pediatric hospitalists on the medical staff, plus an affiliation with Mass General for Children and a neonatologist from Massachusetts General Hospital.

Pediatric Hospitalists

These board-certified pediatricians primarily focus on the medical care of hospitalized patients, including those in the Emergency Department. Hospitalists do not have a medical practice outside of Emerson so they are able to focus all of their attention on children in the hospital, assuring that your child can receive immediate, expert attention 24 hours a day.

Emerson Hospital-Mass General for Children Pediatric Subspecialty Program

Affiliations with Boston teaching hospitals allow children to receive world-renowned care in a convenient, child-friendly setting that is individually tailored to your child’s particular health needs. Should the need arise, the Emerson Hospital-Mass General for Children Pediatric Subspecialty Program offers outpatient specialty care in gastroenterology, cardiology, nephrology, endocrinology, pulmonology and surgery.

Pediatric Intervention Team (PIT)

PIT is an integral part of pediatric care at Emerson Hospital. Its mission is to provide for the emotional well being of children encountering the hospital environment, to minimize the disruptive aspects of a child’s hospital experience and to maximize the chances for emotional growth. The team includes a pediatric psychiatric registered nurse, two child life specialists and a consulting child psychiatrist. The team works with children and families who are undergoing emergency treatment, accompanies young patients to the operating room and is on hand to offer support before, during and after stressful inpatient or outpatient procedures. In addition to preparing children individually, PIT also offers a weekly pre-admission program for children ages 4–10 scheduled for surgery.

Inpatient Pediatric Unit

For the nurses and support personnel who work in Emerson’s Pediatric Unit, your child’s physical and emotional health is of paramount concern. They share years of experience in pediatric care and they encourage your participation in your child’s care and recovery. As a parent, you are welcome on the unit 24 hours a day and your meals are complimentary. A bed or other accommodation will be provided if you choose to stay overnight.

Emerson’s Pediatric Unit includes:

  • Private and semi-private patient rooms
  • Isolation room with special ventilation system to prevent spread of infectious disease
  • Brightly decorated playroom with a variety of age-appropriate toys and activities
  • Separate treatment room
  • Pleasant, spacious lounge for parents and visitors

During your child’s inpatient hospital stay, the Pediatric Intervention Team creates a child-friendly atmosphere and offers therapeutic play. The team helps the entire family understand the child’s illness, surgery and treatments necessary for getting better. It supports children’s feelings throughout the medical procedure and teaches coping strategies.

For psychosomatic and emotional health concerns, psychiatric consultations are available for pediatric inpatients when requested by your pediatrician. A consultation includes the services of the team’s child psychiatric nurse clinical specialist and child psychiatrist, in collaboration with the pediatrician and health care team.

Pediatric Surgical Services

Your child’s surgical experience is a collaboration of many experts—your child’s surgeon, surgical day care medical team and post-anesthesia care nurses, surgical team and skilled operating room nurses, experienced anesthesiologists and nurse anesthetists, and the Pediatric Intervention Team. As the primary caregiver for your child, you are an integral part of your child’s team as well. We value your knowledge and participation.

At Emerson, pediatric anesthesia is practiced with the knowledge that children are not simply small adults. They are different physically and emotionally and require specialized care. Our goal is to provide your child with the most up-to-date and best medical care possible while safeguarding his or her emotional health.

Pediatric Emergency Services

Emerson’s Emergency Department features two pediatric experts—an Emergency Medicine specialist and a staff pediatrician who is always on call in the hospital. All pediatric and emergency specialists are accustomed to handling pediatric emergencies and are sensitive to causes of illness that are specific to children. In addition, many Emerson physicians, nurses and support personnel have completed advanced training in the care of very sick children, including certification in Pediatric Advanced Life Support. Plus, the Pediatric Intervention Team is on hand to help families cope with emergency medical care.

Pediatric Neurology

  • Sleep Disorders Center – Your child’s health care team may schedule a sleep study or an overnight diagnostic test conducted at the Sleep Disorders Center, a private, comfortable, and relaxed setting at Emerson Hospital. Recently renovated, it is complemented by board-certified and board-eligible sleep specialists and specially trained sleep technologists sensitive to the needs of children.
  • Electroencephalogram (EEG) – Your child’s health care team may recommend an EEG, a test that gives important information about the health and functioning of the brain.

Pediatric Imaging Services

The Imaging Department of Emerson Hospital offers a specialized service for pediatric patients in need of a voiding cystourethrogram (VCUG), a radiological procedure used to diagnose urinary reflux. Working in smooth collaboration with your pediatrician, the Department of Anesthesia, nursing and PIT, children may receive a light sedation to help them accomplish this procedure without undue emotional distress. If your child is undergoing a VCUG, please read this document [PDF] about the procedure and how you should help prepare your child.

Emerson joined the "Image Gently" campaign, an initiative by The Alliance for Radiation Safety in Pediatric Imaging that endorses always using a child-sized radiation dose regardless of the imaging test. Cumulative radiation dose has become an area of increasing concern - especially in children who are more sensitive to radiation than adults. The campaign's main focus is awareness; radiologists and radiology technologists are encouraged to take a pledge to follow recommended protocols for imaging children, communicate openly with parents about the safety effort and emphasize the campaign to colleagues. More than 70 Emerson radiology department staff, including clinical and non-clinical staff, have taken the pledge to image gently.

Outpatient Pediatric Nutrition Services

Pediatric nutrition counseling is available at Emerson Hospital’s Nutrition Clinic in Concord and at the Westford Health Center. Registered dieticians provide the counseling in a private, confidential setting.

Pediatric CommunityOutreach and Support Services

An interactive school health education program is available as a lending kit to educate kindergarten children about the hospital environment. In addition, consultations are provided for emergent situations involving young people in the community.