Top benefits of a children’s hospital, part 1

When your child is injured or not feeling well, you logically want specialized care to meet his or her health needs. Where can you find that care? At Children’s Hospital at Erlanger.

Children’s hospitals offer a variety of benefits to communities and the children within them. Over the next few weeks, we’ll share five ways that children’s hospitals, including Children’s Hospital at Erlanger, provide beneficial and unique care for kids.

Today, we’ll focus on the people.

Benefit No.1: Healthcare providers experienced in the specific needs of kids

There’s no better way to say it than the Children’s Hospital Association does: “When it comes to health care, kids are different.”

As they grow up, kids are in a constant state of development. They have different anatomical — and emotional — needs than those of adults. Instead of seeking medical attention on their own, they’re accompanied by parents or a guardian, and sometimes, siblings.

“Children aren’t just little adults, and they can’t be cared for that way,” said Cynthia Rhodes, R.N., M.S.N., chief nursing officer at Children’s Hospital at Erlanger. “It’s important to have providers who understand the unique developmental and physical needs of kids.”

Specialized training

At the region’s only hospital staffed by pediatric subspecialists, providers at Children’s Hospital at Erlanger are well-versed and experienced in what children need, both physically and emotionally.

Physicians and other clinical professionals, including surgeons, nurses, respiratory therapists and pharmacists, have specialized training in pediatric care. In fact, nearly 40 percent of all nurses who work at Children’s Hospital at Erlanger maintain pediatric certification.

“Our ultimate goal is for all our nurses to have pediatric certification,” Rhodes said. “This certification gives nurses an in-depth knowledge of the developmental needs of children, both for everyday medical concerns and chronic issues. Certification ensures we understand the best practices related to kids and that we’re continual, lifelong learners about what children need.”

Family-centered care

When a child needs medical care, his or her parent or guardian is involved. If he or she has siblings, they may accompany the family to the hospital. Children often experience anxiety or feel scared when faced with a medical condition.

Because of those child-specific concerns, children’s hospitals offer a unique atmosphere for healing. While the patient receives care, his or her parents or guardian remain close by to ease fears. In addition, providers offer thorough education on a child’s medical condition to the parents. Siblings can spend time in a kid-friendly environment.

“When it comes to pediatric care, you aren’t just taking care of the patient,” Rhodes said. “You’re also taking care of the family. Our clinical professionals do that.”

Children’s Hospital at Erlanger provides a full spectrum of health services designed to meet the specialized needs of children. Learn more.