The hospitalization of a child for any illness is a stressful experience for both the child and the family. At American Family Children's Hospital, patient care units are designed to stimulate an environment of healing for each infant, child and adolescent.
Each patient care unit has "zones" designed for the patient, the family and the health team member caring for that child.
"Primary Nursing" Care Model
Each patient care unit is managed by a clinical nurse manager (see Your Health Care Team) who provides leadership for the staff who provide your child's care. If you experience any problems during your hospitalization you are encouraged to contact the clinical nurse manager and/or director of pediatric nursing.
Each of the nurses caring for you child is a registered nurse (RN) with demonstrated additional training, skills and competencies in the care of the hospitalized child.
"Primary nursing" is the care delivery model, meaning each child has an RN who works directly with your child's attending physician and is responsible to coordinate the care of your child. If you don't know who your child's primary nurse is, please ask. It should also be written on the white board in your child’s room. Your child's nurse will involve you in the coordination of care for your child.
Safety and Environment
Certain disease processes or clinical situations may indicate your child will need to be protected from the germs in the environment and this is called "isolation." Ask your nurse to explain what this means as there are several types of isolation. Visitors will need to be screened to protect children when they are ill as their natural defenses are lower than normal.
We take great pride in providing patients and families with a clean and safe environment. Please note that you child's room will be cleaned each day. The trash will be emptied at that time. If you need it emptied more frequently or have other questions regarding the cleaning of your room, please call the housekeeper at (608) 890-8380.
Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU)
The Pediatric Critical Care Unit is a 21-bed specialty area that allows for critically ill infants, children and adolescents to receive individualized intensive care for a wide variety of illnesses and injuries.
These patients require more intensive nursing and physician attention and close monitoring. Some children are in the unit for long periods; others for only a few days. Physicians and nurses on this unit have advanced training in pediatric critical care, and each nurse usually cares for only one or two patients.
For families whose child is being treated in the PICU, five sleep rooms are available, sponsored by the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Madison. The rooms offer a quiet, comfortable place for mom or dad to sleep overnight.
The PICU Family Lounge is also available, providing a convenient, comfortable place to eat, read, catch up on the news or get to know other families without disturbing the child, who may be resting or receiving care.
Pediatric Unit 4
This 16-bed unit provides specialized space for patients and families facing especially challenging illnesses, such as cancer. The unit includes the Bone Marrow Transplant Suite and a lead-lined MIBG room for advanced treatment of a rare form of pediatric cancer. Level 4 also features its own school room and playroom in an infection-controlled environment for children with compromised immune systems. The unit is dedicated to the care of the child hospitalized for:
- Neurological disorders
- Ear, nose and throat surgery
- Plastic/reconstructive surgery
- Bone marrow transplants
Pediatric Unit 5
This 24-bed general care unit is divided into a north pod for infants and toddlers and a south pod for school-age children and adolescents hospitalized for a variety of medical or surgical issues. Level 5 is home to a spacious playroom and a full-fledged school. Patients also have a special place to just be kids in the playroom staffed by Child Life specialists and volunteers.