During Your Visit
Whether you're here for a visit or a stay, you will most likely see a lot of different staff members. Knowing what to expect during your visit can help things seem less confusing and help ease any anxiety you or your child may have. Depending on the reason for your visit to the medical center, in most cases, you can expect the following:
- To be asked about your child's medical history and current health status. Please share with us important information about your child's health and any changes you may have noticed.
- A physical exam (including height and weight measurements, blood pressure and temperature)
- Routine tests (blood, radiology, urine, etc...). Your doctor may schedule some tests before the appointment in order to have the most up-to-date information.
- Additional testing may be requested by your doctor depending on your child's condition.
Depending on the type of appointment, you may also meet with various members of the medical team such as nurses, clinical technicians and Child Life specialists, to name a few.
Some appointments may be lengthy, so it's a good idea to bring toys, books and other forms of entertainment to help your child pass the time. You may also want to bring a book, magazine or tablet for your own enjoyment.
Your health care team
Doctors check your child and decide what tests, medicine and treatments your child needs. Your child might have more than one doctor, depending on their diagnosis.
Nurse practitioners work with doctors and the rest of the health care team to diagnose and treat your child. A nurse practitioner can also prescribe medications and other treatments.
Clinical educators help teach you about your child's diagnosis and treatment. All members of the health care team provide education, but a clinical educator may be called for more difficult medical needs.
Pharmacists work with doctors and nurses to make sure your child gets the right medicine.
Nurses record your child's medical history and symptoms, help perform tests and give medicine. Your nurse will also teach you about your child's illness or injury.
Care partners help nurses care for your child. They take temperatures, change bed sheets, help with baths and more.
Child Life specialists help your child cope with stress and anxiety through play and education. Your Child Life specialist also talks to brothers, sisters and the rest of the family about their feelings and behavior. They give your child toys, plan fun activities and play with patients to keep their normal growing and learning on track.
Respiratory therapists give therapy to children when they are having trouble breathing. They work closely with doctors and nurses to treat and educate children and parents about breathing problems.
Rehabilitation services includes occupational, physical and speech and language therapy.
Radiology staff may take X-rays, scans and ultrasounds to help your doctor treat your child's illness or injury.
Lab technicians carry out laboratory tests ordered by your child's doctor. This may include taking blood, collecting samples and more.
Anesthesia staff gives children medicine to put all or part of their body to sleep in order to prevent pain during surgery or procedures.
Palliative care specialists help relieve the physical and emotional suffering for children, teens and young adults who are facing life-threatening or serious chronic conditions. The palliative care team can help coordinate communication among you and your child's care team.
Parents are a big part of the care team because they know their child best and can provide vital information to support the medical team.
In addition to the medical team, members of our support staff may also be involved in your child's care. They include:
Chaplains can pray with you and listen to your hopes and fears, as well as help you practice your chosen faith. If a decision seems hard, chaplains can discuss ethics with you.
Environmental service staff makes sure your child's room stays clean. They will dust, mop, empty trash and remove all dirty linens.
Patient representatives are here to make sure you have the most positive experience possible. They can help if you have a concern and/or comments about your visit.
Nutrition associates help with menu choices and discuss food choices and special nutritional needs with you and your child.
Volunteers wear a Cook Children's shirt or apron and they help around the medical center. You may see volunteers spend time with patients, deliver toiletry items and other donations, provide office support and more.
Interpreters are available any time. Ask your child's nurse if you need an interpreter.
Teachers are Texas-certified educators trained in a variety of areas, including elementary, middle, high school and special education. If you would like more information, please talk to your Child Life specialist.
Librarians in the Family Health Library can help you find up-to-date and easy-to-read information about your child's condition, diagnosis, treatment, and procedures.
Welcome ambassadors are here to help when you need information about services offered in the local area and general information about the medical center.
Parent mentors provide support and encouragement to families with a new diagnosis, disability or other medical concern. Parent mentors are matched with families who share similar situations or have the same diagnosis or health care need. If you are interested in speaking with a parent mentor, call our parent advisor at 682-885-5480.