What to Expect During Your Visit :: Nationwide Children's Hospital

What to Expect During Your Visit

At the start of the admission, patients and families meet with each team member who conducts an initial assessment of the patient’s needs, and their particular challenges with ARS. Each patient’s treatment is individualized and tailored to support patients as they reach their goals. Throughout admission, patients work with all of the team members on a daily basis. On average, patients are in our program for around 10 days.

Referrals/Getting Here

Patients cannot be self-referred or referred by their family. Referrals must come directly from a gastroenterologist who has knowledge of the patient’s medical history and prior testing, and who is willing to follow the patient once he or she is discharged from our program. Referring physicians should have already conducted enough of an evaluation to determine if their patient’s vomiting is better described by another condition such as gastroparesis or an eating disorder. Because patient cooperation, investment, and ability to work independently is essential to the success of treatment in our program, the program is not best suited for adolescents with substantial developmental delay or psychiatric challenges.

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The physician or gastroenterologist should contact the Motility Center by calling (614) 722-3456. Records can be faxed to (614) 722-3454. All records must be complete before the patient’s case is reviewed. Once records are complete, the medical team will review the patient’s history and decide if an outpatient clinic visit or further testing is needed. Patients never are directly admitted without having first met our program directors in person. This is to determine if our program can truly suit the patient’s needs and provide effective treatment.   

If the medical director and clinical director determine that our program can meet the patient’s needs, a date for admission is agreed upon, and information is sent to insurance for pre-authorization. This process may take several weeks to months.  Once the admission is approved, families receive a packet of information and a few forms to complete and bring with them to the hospital.

During the time between meeting us and your admission, we will discuss an interim plan. The plan may include goals such as maintaining nutrition and/or hydration, symptom management, frequent contact with your physician, or treatment with a therapist close to your family’s home. 


Preparing for Admission

There are several things we will need you to do prior to coming for your treatment at Nationwide Children's.

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  • Complete your food record. In your packet, you will receive a three-day food record. Please be sure you complete it prior to your arrival.  
  • Tell us about your formula/TPN. If patients have tube feedings or parenteral nutrition (TPN), they should be sure to communicate this with us prior to their admission so we can be sure that we can meet their needs during your hospitalization.  If our hospital does not have specific formula, we may ask families to bring a few days’ worth of their own formula.
  • Bring your current medications. If patients take medications at home, they should bring all of their medications with them in labeled containers. Even though patients cannot take their own medications while they are in the hospital, having them here will help us quickly order any medications you need.
  • Pack comfortable clothing. Patients should be prepared to take part in exercise that includes walking and stretching.  We ask that they bring tennis shoes and comfortable clothing for their time with Therapeutic Recreation each day.  Also, patients and families should bring weather-appropriate clothing for times they may leave the hospital for mealtime therapy.
  • Bring your schoolwork. Families should coordinate with the patient’s school about their hospitalization, and work should be coordinated with the school. When families are admitted, we will discuss your needs for time to complete school work. Each patient room has internet and Wi-Fi access.

Admissions - Days 1 and 2

On your first day here, you will meet with most members of our treatment team. Each member of the team will learn information about your rumination and other aspects of your life so that we can understand your challenges from many different perspectives. 

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Patients and families meet with the following professionals during their first two days:

On the second day, team members complete their evaluations with you, and the treatment team meets as a group to share what they have learned and to develop your specific treatment plan. The plan is shared with you after the team meeting, you are provided with a daily schedule of events. Treatment begins immediately.


Your Schedule


Monday through Friday, patients have a schedule of therapies (and free time). The schedule is designed during the team meeting. View sample schedule

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On the weekends, therapies are less structured. Patients always will have assignments, and rumination treatment continues, but in a different format. Depending on the patient’s progress, eating outside of the hospital for one meal may be encouraged, to begin generalizing skills learned in the hospital.


Parents and Visitors

Parents are welcome to stay throughout the admission. Parents have the option of sleeping in the hospital room with the patient, but for comfort we typically recommend they have a room at the Ronald McDonald House across the street from the hospital. If parents would like a room reserved, please let us know prior to admission and we can help arrange for this.

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Visitors also are welcome, but typically not during the daytime when therapy is taking place. The best time for visitors is after 7 on weekdays and anytime on the weekends.



Determining when a patient is ready for discharge is based on many factors. These include the patient’s progress in the program, their level of improvement, their medical readiness, and their daily calorie and fluid intake.

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Nationwide Children's Hospital
700 Children's Drive Columbus, Ohio 43205 614.722.2000