While in the Hospital :: Nationwide Children's Hospital

While in the Hospital


The following information will be of assistance as you help with your child's care.

  • For your child’s protection, always make sure the crib sides and bed rails are pulled up all the way and locked in place.
  • During the night, your child will be awakened for temperature readings, medications and treatments. This is done to provide needed care.
  • Please check with the nurse before emptying the bedpan or before your child uses the bathroom. It is important to keep accurate records of your child’s drink and food intake, as well as output of urine and/or stool during your child’s stay.
  • At times, children will be taken to another area or room for care. If this is done, we try to contact you before it happens.
  • A patient identification band is put on your child’s wrist. It is important to keep this identification on your child. Let a member of your health care team know if it is removed or damaged.
  • Please ask for permission from your nurse before letting your child leave the patient unit.
  • Tell your doctors and nurses about any allergies your child has, or any previous bad reactions to medicines. Also tell them about any vitamins, herbs, home remedies or over-the-counter drugs that your child is taking.
  • Please do not give your child medicine, including Tylenol or other over-the-counter medicines while s/he is a patient in the hospital. If you forget and give your child medicine, please tell your nurse immediately.
  • We strive to understand and to take into account each patient’s and family’s concern and response to health care in the context of their cultural traditions and religious beliefs. If you have religious or cultural preferences, please share them with your care team. We will try to honor your preferences when possible.


Depending on your child’s health care needs, s/he may receive care from one or more of the following health care team members:

Your private physician will see your child. S/he also may be seen by pediatric or surgical resident physicians training in specialized areas. The residents assist your private physician with your child’s care.

If you have questions about your child’s condition, your doctor can give you the most complete information. If you need information right away, try to talk with your doctor, or talk with the resident physician working with your child. Your child’s nurse also can give you this information.

Because this is a teaching hospital, you’ll meet medical students, residents and fellows. They work under the supervision of the attending physician. Medical students are going to school to become doctors. The best way for them to learn is by working at a hospital. Residents and fellows have finished medical school and are already doctors, but they are interested in receiving further training.

Nurses and their assistants provide most of your child’s around-the-clock care. They also help ease your child’s fears of being in the hospital, being sick and being away from family.

Nurses give individualized care for your child, talking with you and your child. The nurses also will teach you how to meet the needs of your child at the hospital and at home. The goal of nursing is to give your child the best care possible. We do this by having the nurses, physicians and other members of the health care team work directly with you.

Advance practice nurses or nurse practitioners are nurses with extra education and licensure that allow them to work with physicians to coordinate and plan care for your child. If your child needs special care after discharge from the hospital, a nurse from the Clinical Services and Care Coordination Department will help you with plans for equipment, supplies, home infusion therapy and other items.

Patient Care Assistants (PCA)
A patient care assistant (PCA) may work together with your nurse to provide care. The PCA may assist your child’s nurse by taking vital signs, bathing your child, performing finger sticks for lab tests, or providing other treatments.

While in the hospital, your child may need the help of physical, occupational, recreational, respiratory, speech, music and/or massage therapists. These therapists also will work with you to continue these therapies at home.

Clinical Social Workers
A clinical social worker, with specialized training in pediatrics, can provide emotional support and other assistance to you and your family. A social worker works with your team of doctors and nurses to help you manage the stressful aspects of your child’s illness, the challenges of the hospital stay, as well as other issues your family may face. S/he also can work with you to identify and use needed services in your area once your child goes home. You can ask a nurse to contact a social worker for you or you can request a social worker yourself by calling the Clinical Services and Care Coordination Department at (614) 722-6300.

Pharmacists work with your doctors and nurses to make sure your child receives the most appropriate medicines. They review all medication orders for your child. Clinical Pharmacists may talk with you and your child about complicated medicines.

Pastoral Care can provide you and your family with spiritual support. The Pastoral Care Department will provide assistance to those of all faiths. Trained chaplains are available 24 hours a day. You can reach one of them by calling (614) 722-5250. You also can contact them through the hospital operator at (614) 722-2000, or your nurse. The Children’s Chapel is open to people of all faiths, cultures and ages. It is located on the second floor of the main hospital. A security escort will be required after 8 p.m. Join us for one of our worship services:

  • Interfaith Worship – Sunday at 3:30 p.m.
  • Catholic Mass – Sunday and Wednesday at Noon

Child Life Specialists
Child Life Specialists address developmental needs of children, and can assist children in coping with their health care needs. They support your child’s growth and development through play activities and events created just for him/her. They even have activities to help your child prepare for a health care procedure.

Volunteers work throughout the hospital. A few of the areas are the Emergency Department, the Gift Shop, the Information Desk, patient units and as part of the Child Life program. Volunteers wear blue jackets, shirts or vests and a name badge.

School Teachers
For school-age children, the Columbus Public School system assigns a teacher to help your child with his/her schoolwork. If your child will be in the hospital longer than a week, ask your nurse to contact one of the teachers. They coordinate services with your child’s home school and will plan a program for your child’s learning needs.

Early intervention and preschool teachers are available for children up to 5 years of age. These teachers help identify children with developmental disabilities or delays, as well as children who may be at risk for delays. Early intervention and preschool teachers initiate services to help meet your child’s developmental needs. They also can help set up services in your home community. Teachers can be contacted at (614) 722-3635.

Clinical Dieticians
Clinical dieticians provide nutrition care based upon the specific age, development-related and medical-related needs of your child. A diet technician may also provide technical support.

Lactation Specialists
Children’s lactation program helps moms provide breast milk for their hospitalized infant. Hospital-grade electric breast pumps are available throughout the hospital to keep moms comfortable and to help maintain milk supply if an infant is not able to breastfeed directly. To contact a lactation specialist, call (614) 722-5228.


Room Service Available
Nationwide Children's Hospital now offers classic hotel-style room service meals delivered directly to your room. Depending on the diet ordered by your physician, patients can order from a broad selection of foods including Chicken Caesar Salad, Oven Fried Chicken, Quesadillas and even Triple Layer Chocolate Cake. Parents, other family members and guests can also order room service meals by purchasing a guest tray card from the hospital cafeteria, food court, or Clementine's Cafe. Guest tray cards are $5 plus tax. 

Meals can be ordered anytime between 7 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. and will be delivered within 45 minutes.

Kaleidoscope Menus can be viewed here and Kaleidoscope Carb Menus can be viewed here.

Food Service for Your Child
Your child may select meals from the patient menu and, upon request, may be able to receive meals from the cafeteria menu at an additional cost.

If you would like to bring food from home to the hospital or would like to have food delivered to the hospital, please check with your nurse. If your child is on a special diet, please check with the dietitian to make sure food from outside the hospital is appropriate for your child. A list of restaurants that deliver to the hospital is available at your nursing station.

If your child is receiving formula, it will be provided by the Formula Room. The hospital offers many standard and special formulas. All possible care will be taken to obtain any special formula your child needs. If your child’s formula is not available, your doctor and nurse will meet with Nutrition Services to find another formula. Your child’s nutrition is one of our concerns. We are dedicated to meeting your child’s needs.

Nutrition Services can be reached from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. at (614) 722-1517 or (614) 722-1521. The Formula Room can be reached at (614) 722-1528.

Located on the lower level of the Hospital, the Cafeteria offers patients, families, visitors and staff a wide variety of food offerings at all hours of the day. Each day a special Chef's Cuisine entree, salads, sandwiches, pizza and other grab and go items are offered. Seating is provided in the spacious dining room as well as the outdoor courtyard, weather permitting.

Cafeteria hours:

Early Bird

12:30 a.m. – 4:30 a.m.


6 a.m. – 10 a.m.


11 a.m. – 4 p.m.


4 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. (Monday – Friday)

4 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. (Saturday – Sunday & Holidays)

Complete vending areas are located behind Clementine’s Coffee and are open 24 hours a day. Some vending also is available in the Tower 2 Lobby.

Food Court
The hospital also has a food court located in the lower level of the Education building (see the hospital map for locations of all food service areas). The food court offers several varieties of salads, wraps, hot sandwiches and beverages daily. There is also a Subway & Asian Restaurant located in this area.

Food Court is open:
Breakfast: 6:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Lunch: 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Closed Weekends & Holidays

Subway is open:
24 hours a day, 7 days a week

Koco's is open:
Monday - Friday: 10:30 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.
Saturday: 11:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Closed Sundays

Clementine’s Cafe
Please visit our espresso bar, Clementine’s Cafe, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. It is located on the first floor of the Outpatient Care Center near one of the ATM machines. Clementine's also has sandwiches, salads, wraps and pizza.

Magic Bean Cafe
Located on the Blue and Green Path next to the Gift Shop, the Magic Bean Cafe is an espresso bar that also offers grab and go items and soft serve frozen yogurt treats.

Panera Bread
Located at 611 E. Livingston Ave. across from the main hospital, Panera Bread is a full-service bakery-café with breakfast, lunch and dinner options including hot soups, fresh salads, sandwiches on freshly-baked bread, breakfast sandwiches, bagels, pastries, cookies and coffee. Open Monday-Saturday 6 a.m.-9 p.m. and Sunday 7 a.m.-8 p.m.


Who will be affected by this policy?

  • The healthy beverage changes apply to all patients, families, visitors and staff.

Why is the hospital making these changes?

  • To promote the health and well-being of our patients, families and staff, we will not sell or offer sugar-sweetened beverages that have no nutritional value. As one of the nation’s leading pediatric health care and research institutes, we are committed to addressing the epidemic of childhood obesity and creating and supporting a healthy work environment for employees.

What areas are affected?

  • The cafeteria, food court, Koko’s, Subway, gift shops, patient food service, catering, on- and off-site vending machines, and Jerzy’s are all affected.

Are high-calorie coffee drinks still offered at Clementine's Café and can I still get sugar for my coffee?

  • Yes, sugar is available for coffee. The hospital made some minor changes to beverages sold at Clementine’s Cafe, for example, a few of the highest-calorie drinks were eliminated and the extra-large cup size is no longer available.

What types of beverages are available under this new policy?

  • Water, milk, pure fruit juices and diet sodas are all healthier alternatives to sugar-sweetened drinks. The hospital expanded the selection of these beverages.

What if I still want a regular soda or other sugar-sweetened drink?

  • Employees, patients and families are able to bring in their own sugar-sweetened beverages, but the hospital will not offer or sell those beverages.

What if a patient needs regular soda for a medical reason?

  • Regular Coke and Sprite will be available for patients who meet certain criteria. The hospital’s nurses and physicians will be able to assist with obtaining these items.


Nationwide Children's is pleased to offer free guest wireless Internet access. Below are links to information found on our web site as a starting point, you are welcome to "surf" the Internet (per the terms of agreement) from here.

Click here for frequently asked questions about our guest internet access.


You may call at any time to talk to a nurse about your child’s care or condition. If you call the hospital operator at (614) 722-2000 or the Information Desk at (614) 722-2001, they can help. Friends and family may call these numbers to leave a message for you or your child.

For the protection of our patients, callers from outside the hospital who wish to speak in detail about a patient’s condition will be required to provide the patient’s Care Code.


You know your child better than anyone. That’s why we try to make it possible for one parent/guardian or their designee (over 18 years of age) to stay overnight in the patient’s room. Due to space limitations and the nature of the care we give, some units, like Intensive Care, do not have accommodations for overnight stay. A few sleeping rooms are available near the Intensive Care units for use. For safety and security reasons, we ask you not to sleep in any other areas, such as lobbies or hallways. Please check with the floor-specific nurse on the overnight policy for your child.

Sleeping space for one person typically is a cot or foldout chair. Linens and shower facilities are available for your use as well. In order to help us provide care, we ask that you be awake and dressed by 8 a.m. Each morning the cafeteria will give you a free beverage if you are wearing your parent badge.

The Ronald McDonald House

The Ronald McDonald House (614-227-3700), 711 E. Livingston Ave., can provide accommodations for families who live far from the hospital. These rooms are filled on a first-come basis. If the Ronald McDonald House has more requests than rooms, priority is given to families with critically ill children. Learn more about the Ronald McDonald House and its Charities and download the Ronald McDonald House flier. Take a Ronald McDonald House virtual tour. 

Area Hotels

If you need help making plans for an overnight stay, contact the Welcome Center at 1-800-619-9786. Please note that the Welcome Center is available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. EST.

You also can view our list of area hotels. The hotels listed are based on geographic region only, not as an endorsement of quality from Nationwide Children's. Links are included to each hotel's website, and distance from the hospital is also listed. View our list of area hotels.


There is a visitor parking garage and parking lots around the hospital for your use.

Click here for detailed maps, directions and parking information.

Vehicle security
Always make sure your vehicle is locked. Do not leave cash or valuable items in view in your vehicle. These items should be locked in the trunk, removed from the vehicle or hidden. At night, select the most well lit and most visible parking spaces.

Security officers will take you to your vehicle if you wish. Go to any of the main doors and call (614) 722-2128. A security officer will meet you at the door. Security is also happy to escort you from the parking lots into the hospital. If you have a cell phone, call (614) 722-2128. If not, drive to the Emergency Department area and ask Security to meet you in one of the parking lots.


We consider families to be a part of the care team at Nationwide Children’s. Parents are encouraged to be with their child as much as they are able. We suggest visits by friends and other family members be brief. Check with your nurse or doctor to see how many visitors are allowed at once or for any other visitation issues.

We want to maintain the best patient care environment possible. To do this, Nationwide Children’s Hospital has set up a visitation system for all persons visiting patients. Parents and visitors must wear identification badges. These badges are given to parents in the Admitting Department, Emergency Department and Patient Placement Department. Visitors can get their badge at the Information Desk in the Main Lobby. (See the hospital map to find each of these areas.)

Normal visiting hours are from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Because young children cannot fight off germs as well as adults can, please do not bring children under the age of 12 to the hospital to visit siblings or friends. Anyone who is feeling sick or has been exposed to contagious diseases should also not visit the hospital. Please ask your caregiver if you have any questions.

Special visitation requests often are granted. Please check with your child’s nurse for more specific guidelines about visitation on your unit.

Between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m., the main entrance to the hospital is locked. You should use the Emergency Department entrance, off of Children’s Drive, during this time.

If you have visitors coming to Nationwide Children’s Hospital, please direct them to our web site for up-to-date maps and directions. We also have a directional line available at (614) 722-3000.

While we welcome family and friends to visit your child in the hospital, your safety is always our top concern. When your child is admitted to Nationwide Children’s, you’ll be asked to create a Guest Code. All visitors to the hospital must provide the correct Guest Code to gain access to your child’s unit.

For the protection of our patients, callers from outside the hospital who wish to speak in detail about a patient’s condition will be required to provide the patient’s Care Code.

Learn more about our Guest Code and Care Code policies.

Visitor Restrictions - Effective Nov. 27, 2017

To protect our patients during viral season, it is necessary to restrict inpatient visitors in all intensive care units, all neonatal units, H4A, H8A and Hematology/Oncology.

Beginning Monday, November 27 (through approximately mid-March), all visitors to these units must be healthy and 12 years of age and older. This includes siblings.

Patients/parents in these units will be asked to identify up to four additional people, 12 years of age and older, they wish to visit during their stay.

The four names given will be listed in the patient’s medical record. Only visitors with their name listed will be able to visit the patient for the duration of visitor restrictions.

Learn more or view a video explaining visitor restrictions during viral season on our flu resources page.


There are telephones in each patient room for free local outgoing calls. Long-distance phone calls must be made through the operator. He/she will help you make a collect or calling card call. Pay phones are located near the elevators in the lobby areas on each floor. Cellular phones are allowed in restricted areas. Please follow the posted guidelines or ask your nurse.

To make local outgoing calls:

  • Dial “9.”
  • Then dial the number desired for local calls.

To make long-distance outgoing calls:

  • Dial “0-1-area code-number.”
  • The operator then will assist you in making your collect or calling card call.

Visitors may dial directly into your room. Check with the Unit Coordinator or the Information Desk in the Main Lobby for your child’s phone number. Calls coming into the room will only be received between the hours of 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. Friends and family also may leave a message with the Information Desk at (614) 722-2001 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Messages will be delivered to patient rooms.


Nationwide Children’s has two ATM machines maintained by Huntington National Bank. One is located in the Outpatient Care Center, next to Q’s Coffee. The second is just off the Main Lobby next to the Gift Shop. (See the hospital maps to find each of these areas.)

Huntington customers are not charged a fee for cash withdrawals. Non-Huntington customers will be charged a $1.50 fee for each cash withdrawal. Stamp dispensing machines also are available next to the ATM machines. A change machine can be found in the Outpatient Care Center lobby. The machine will break $10 and $20 bills to $5 bills.


Looking for something special for your child? Visit Nationwide Children’s "Gifts and Goodies" or Cubby Hole. "Gifts and Goodies" is located next to the Main Lobby and the Cubby Hole is located adjacent to the Education building (see hospital map). "Gifts and Goodies" sells toys, stuffed animals, Mylar balloons, candy, pop, ice cream, snacks, cards, magazines, newspapers and other incidentals you may need during your stay. It also offers gift cards. The Cubby Hole sells many of these same items on a limited scale.

"Gifts and Goodies" is open:

  • Monday – Friday 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.
  • Saturday and Sunday Noon - 5 p.m.
  • Holidays Closed

The Cubby Hole is open:

  • Monday – Friday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Also available is our online greeting card service. This service makes it easy for family and friends to brighten up their loved one's room, not to mention his or her spirits, with a free personalized greeting card. Just follow a few simple steps to customize a card. Once submitted, it will be e-mailed directly to Nationwide Children’s Hospital print shop. Once each morning, a hospital volunteer will hand deliver the card to the patient's room. It's simple and fun, and most importantly, loved ones can express just how much they care. Cards will be printed once a day, Monday through Friday, at 9 a.m. Card delivery cannot be guaranteed without the patient's full name. If the patient has been discharged, please provide a forwarding address and the card will be mailed to the recipient.


Library Cart
Nationwide Children’s Hospital Pleasure Guild volunteers bring a library cart around to patient areas during the week. The cart includes books and magazines for children of all ages. You and your child may borrow materials from the cart for your enjoyment. Books can be returned to the cart or in designated drop boxes located in the Tower Building lobbies and the Main Lobby. The drop boxes are blue with smiling faces painted on them.

Video Station
Nationwide Children's Hospital has a video station for patients to borrow VHS tapes, DVDs, CD music and video games during their stay. The video station is located in the main lobby of the hospital next to the elevators. Volunteers work in the video station. When volunteers are available, the video station will open and an overhead announcement will be made. You may borrow two videos at a time, free of charge. There is a drop box next to the Information Desk in the Main Lobby for video returns. If the video station is not open, you can leave a message at (614) 722-4972. When it opens, a volunteer will return your call.

Kids will be kids and kids need to play. In an effort to make your child’s stay a more pleasant one, there are playrooms located throughout the hospital. Each playroom has toys and games for your child. Organized activities are planned for each week, and a schedule is posted in every unit and on Children’s music and movie channels. Please watch your child while in the playrooms and remember to return all toys so other children may enjoy them. An activity room just for teens is located on the fifth floor. Teens need to request a card key to access the teen activity room. If your child has special needs or is not permitted to go to the playroom, ask your nurse to help you contact a child life specialist for an individualized visit.

Rooftop Outdoor Area
A rooftop outdoor area is available for use by you and your child. It is located on the third floor near the Occupational Therapy/Physical Therapy gymnasium. Just look for the big tugboat on the roof! Your doctor will let you know if your child may go to this area and a member of the nursing or child life staff will be glad to assist you. You or another adult you know must watch your child at all times in the rooftop outdoor area.

For Siblings – Nationwide Children’s Hospital Clubhouse
Brothers and sisters can make your child feel at ease, but they need support during this time too. To make the hospital experience easier for siblings, the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Clubhouse gives kids ages 3 to 11 a place to address their concerns, play together and enjoy fun activities. The Clubhouse is on the first floor by the Main Lobby, and is open weekdays from 8 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturdays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

In Columbus
For family members or siblings seeking activities away from Nationwide Children’s Hospital, there are a number of places to visit in downtown Columbus. Click here for a detailed listing of activities in and around Columbus. Some nearby activities include:

  • COSI (Center of Science and Industry) 333 W. Broad Street (614) 228-2674
  • Columbus City Center Mall 111 South 3rd Street (614) 221-4900
  • Columbus Metropolitan Library 96 South Grant Avenue (614) 645-2275
  • Columbus Museum of Art 480 East Broad Street (614) 221-4848
  • Franklin Park Conservatory 1777 E Broad Street (614) 645-1800
  • Livingston Park (next to the Nationwide Children’s Hospital campus – see map in back) Corner of 18th and Livingston (614) 645-3300
  • Topiary Garden Deaf School Park 408 East Town Street (614) 645-3330

For more information on hours and admission prices, please call the phone numbers provided.


Patient rooms are cleaned daily, and when the housekeeping staff is cleaning your child’s room, you may be asked to leave. Please call the Parent Hotline for housekeeping issues at (614) 722-3136 from 7 a.m. to 12:30 a.m.


We hope to make your child’s and family’s stay at Nationwide Children’s Hospital a comfortable one. Our aim is to give the best care and comfort to you and your child. Should you have any questions, the following options are available.

Patient Family Communications Board
Some patient rooms have a communication board for you to leave messages for your child’s health care team. The board has an area for the names of your child’s doctors and nurses on each shift. The bottom of the board has space for your comments and notes to assist in your child’s care. Also, please feel free to ask questions of your nurse or other health care team member at any time.

Patient/Family Liaison
Nationwide Children's offers Patient/Family Liaisons to provide you with additional assistance. They will listen to and help you with any concerns, can assist you with the many services we offer, and can refer you to other resources if needed. To contact the Patient/Family Liaisons, call (614) 722-6593.

Administrator On-Call
Nationwide Children's has an Administrator On-Call at all times to attend to issues should the Patient/Family Liaisons be unavailable, or if the issue warrants their attention. The Administrator On-Call can be reached via the hospital operator at (614) 722-2000.

Chapel and Pastoral Care
Trained chaplains are available 24 hours a day to provide you and your family with spiritual support. Our chaplains will provide assistance to those of all faiths. You can reach one of them by calling (614) 722-5250. You also can contact them through the hospital operator at (614) 722-2000, or your nurse.

The Nationwide Children’s Hospital Chapel is open to people of all faiths, cultures and ages. It is located on the second floor of the main hospital. A security escort will be required after 8 p.m. Join us for one of our worship services:
Interfaith Worship – Sunday at 3:30 p.m.
Catholic Mass – Sunday and Wednesday at Noon

Ethics Committee
There may be occasions where you are having difficulty deciding the best course of care for your child and feel you need more input than your physician’s alone. Nationwide Children’s Hospital has an Ethics Committee that families may access to discuss your choices. The Ethics Committee is not a decision making group, but brings together many different types of caregivers to help staff and families look at all aspects of the decision at hand. To contact the Ethics Committee, ask your unit manager.

Concerns about your child’s care
In the event any of our patients or their families have concerns about patient care and/or safety in the organization, Nationwide Children's encourages them to contact the Patient Liaisons or Administrator On-Call to request assistance. If the concerns in question cannot be resolved at these levels, the individual is encouraged to contact the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO). Customers may contact JCAHO at the following web site:



Or contact the Ohio Department of Health:

Ohio Department of Health
246 N. High Street
Columbus, Ohio 43226-0118


To promote good health and maintain a healthy environment, Nationwide Children’s Hospital campus is smoke-free. All Nationwide Children’s Hospital visitors and employees are prohibited from smoking to protect the health of our patients. Smoking cessation products are also available in the Gift Shop for purchase.


Nationwide Children’s Hospital’s library can help you find the latest information on pediatric health issues. The library is located on the second floor of the Education building (see the hospital map). The library is a branch of The Ohio State University’s Health Sciences Library. There is an area just for families called the Janet Orttung-Morrow MD Family Health Information Center (FHIC). The FHIC has a wide variety of child-related health information from books to magazines to videos. The library staff and volunteers will help you locate materials for you or your child.

Library hours are:
Monday – Thursday      8:30 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Friday                         8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
For more information, call (614) 722-3200.


Children are placed in isolation for two reasons: Their resistance to infection is low and they need extra protection; or they have a contagious illness and other people must be protected. An isolation sign should not be cause for alarm. It is simply a measure taken to protect your child and others against the spread of infection. If your child is placed in isolation, please check with the nurse in charge of your child’s care for instructions.


Nationwide Children's Hospital is committed to providing your child with quality health care in a safe manner. When your child is admitted, you will receive a brochure titled, Patient Safety in the Health Care Setting. This document includes instructions on how you play a vital role in ensuring your child’s safety while in the hospital.

The following information also will help your health care team and you provide a safe environment for your child.

Standard Precautions
Your child’s doctors and nurses must use Standard Precautions. These precautions are required at all hospitals by federal law. This may involve the use of gloves, masks, goggles, face shields and/or gowns. Standard Precautions are used to limit the risk of spreading infection. They are used to protect your child as well as the doctor, nurse or therapist. If you have questions about Standard Precautions or Infection Control, please call the Epidemiology Department at (614) 722-4990.

Hand washing
Proper hand hygiene is one of the best ways to stop the spread of germs and prevent infections. Hand hygiene involves either washing hands with soap and water or decontaminating hands with a waterless alcohol-based hand rub. In order to prevent your child or you from getting unwanted germs, wash hands with soap and water or decontaminate your hands with a waterless alcohol-based hand rub every time you enter and leave the room. Also, wash your hands with soap and water at least during the following times:

  • Prior to eating.
  • After using the restroom.
  • After changing diapers.
  • After contact with body fluids like blood, urine or vomit.

To wash your hands properly:

  • Wet hands with water and then apply soap.
  • Rub hands vigorously together for at least 15 seconds covering all surfaces of hands, fingers, thumbs and under the nails.
  • Rinse well and then dry hands gently with a paper towel. Use the paper towel to turn off hand-controlled faucets to avoid getting germs back on your hands.

To decontaminate hands by using the waterless alcohol-based hand rub:

  • Apply the rub to palm of hand.
  • Rub hands together covering all surfaces of hands and fingers.
  • Rub until hands are dry.

All health care workers and physicians know they must perform proper hand hygiene minimally before and after touching a patient, after contact with items near the patient, prior to putting gloves on for a sterile procedure and after removing gloves. We encourage you to remind health care workers to perform hand hygiene.

Patient and family identification bands
To provide positive identification of your child, and to ensure quality care is safely administered, a patient identification band has been placed on your child. We request that you assist in keeping your child’s identification band on at all times. Treatment cannot be given without this band in place. The staff will check this band and replace it as necessary.

Parent identification bands also will be issued. They indicate that you are a parent/legal guardian of the child and have the right to give consent for your child’s care. In addition to the wristband, parents will be required to wear a second identification badge while at the hospital. Badges should be displayed on the torso above the waist. These badges are necessary for Security staff to identify who is authorized to be on each floor. Parents should wear this badge in addition to the wristband.

For the protection of our patients, callers from outside the hospital who wish to speak in detail about a patient’s condition will be required to provide the patient’s Care Code.


El hospital proporciona intérpretes médicos para los niños, padres o tutores con déficit auditivo o con límite de habilidad en el idioma Inglés. Por favor comunique al personal médico que necesita un intérprete para comunicarse y ellos le ayudarán.

Para la ayuda financiera, illame por favor (614) 722-2055.

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