Before Psychiatric Hospitalization of Your Child or Adolescent
Hospitalization in a psychiatric facility is one of a range of available
treatment options when a child or adolescent is mentally ill. Parents
are naturally concerned and may be frightened and confused when inpatient
treatment is recommended for their child. By asking the following
questions, parents will gain a better understanding of the proposed
stay in an inpatient facility:
- Why is psychiatric inpatient treatment being recommended for our
child, and how will it help our child?
- What are the other treatment alternatives to hospital treatment,
and how do they compare?
- Is a child and adolescent psychiatrist admitting our child to
- What does the inpatient treatment include, and how will our child
be able to keep up with school work?
- What are the responsibilities of the child and adolescent psychiatrist
and other people on the treatment team?
- How long will our child be in the hospital, how much will it cost,
and how do we pay for these services?
- What will happen if we can no longer afford to keep our child
in this hospital or if the insurance company denies coverage and
inpatient treatment is still necessary?
- Will our child be on a unit specifically designed for the treatment
pf children and adolescents and is this hospital accredited by the
Joint Commission for the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations
(JCAHO) as a treatment facility for youngsters of our child's age?
- How will we as parents be involved in our child's hospital treatment,
including the decision for discharge and after-care treatment?
- How will the decision be made to discharge our child from the
- Once our child is discharged, what are the plans for continuing
or follow-up treatment?
Hospital treatment is a serious matter for parents, children and
adolescents. Parents should raise these questions before their child
or adolescent is admitted to the hospital. Parents who are informed
and included as part of their child's hospital treatment are important
contributors and partners in the treatment process.
If after asking the above questions, parents still have serious questions
or doubts, they should feel free to ask for a second opinion.
Daycare.com would like to thank American Academy of Child and Adolescent
Psychiatry for this information in striving to make daycare and childcare
a more productive and efficient service. You can contact them at:
3615 Wisconsin Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20016-3007 voice: 202-966-7300