world's a stage', Shakespeare tells us, and we, the actors, are cast in
many roles in the production of our lives. We learn these roles as
by watching our parents act them out, and by engaging in play to mimic
their performance. We've grown up now, and our children are learning
us, and considering carefully the lessons that we teach through our
These pages provide some hints about how to effectively understand the
role of the child patient, and contain suggestions to guide you as you
assume the part of the "hospital parent".
needs to be hospitalized for the treatment of an infection, for the
of an illness, or for a hundred other of the reasons that children
the doors of hospitals as "patients", she will watch you carefully to
how to be in this new arena. Your response to her will depend on a
of factors, and paying attention to them is a good way of helping her
be successful in her role.
had any negative experiences with hospitals or with health care
you'll have a tendency to carry the feelings associated with them to
hospitalization. Talk to yourself. Remind yourself that every situation
is different, and that many people have good experiences in hospitals.
If you work on a positive attitude, Amy will decide that this is the
she should respond, too. You are her model.
Fleitas, Ed.D., R.N.
Professor of Nursing, Lehman College, CUNY
Bronx, New York 10468
updated: March 27, 2009