Why a Children's Hospital?
Medical treatment affects children differently than adults, even if they suffer from the same illness or injury. Simply put, growing children have different bodies than grownups. A routine procedure for an adult may have serious implications for a developing child. From newborns and babies to toddlers and preschoolers to grade-schoolers and even adolescents, children are not small adults. They require specialized pediatric care from practiced professionals who not only identify a young patient’s immediate medical needs, but also recognize the long-term effects of procedures and treatments on a child.
The medical staff at Valley Children's Hospital focuses exclusively on providing healthcare services to children. Our pediatric orthopaedic surgeons consider both the repair of a child’s broken bone and its continued growth. Our pediatric intensivists understand the respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, may cause an infected adult to stay home from work for a day or two, but can send a vulnerable child to the pediatric intensive care unit for over a week. Our pediatric specialists witness their patients suffer in ways adults do not, and they know how to address the health issues exclusive to children.
How do you treat someone who can’t tell you where it hurts?
The expertise found at a children’s hospital becomes even more critical when a patient requires pediatric specialists to provide a higher level of care. Pediatricians receive up to six years of training in the treatment of children. Pediatric specialists participate in fellowships that can last up to three more years.
Nurses working in a children’s hospital also specialize in their fields of pediatric medicine, acquiring additional knowledge and skills in areas such as pediatric intensive care, pediatric rehabilitation and more.
The neonatal intensive care unit at Valley Children's Hospital employs more than 200 nurses with dedicated education and experience to care for the special needs of premature babies.
How big is a child-sized needle?
In addition to staffing specially trained and experienced professionals, a children’s hospital also offers facilities, equipment and medications tailored to fit the needs of children. With their specialties in administering anesthesia and medications to young patients, the pediatric anesthesiologists and pediatric pharmacists at Valley Children's Hospital know children react differently to medications. Even adjusted dosages can bring about reactions not seen in adults.
Cardiac surgeons accustomed to operating on an adult’s fist-sized heart use different instruments than their pediatric counterparts, who regularly perform surgery on hearts the size of a walnut. The respirators, surgical instruments and even needles at Valley Children's Hospital are child-sized. The depth and breadth of our lifesaving tools fit perfectly in an exclusively pediatric environment.
How do you make a hospital look less scary?
A children’s hospital not only provides the unique medical care a child requires, but hospitals that focus solely on pediatrics also attend to their patients’ emotional needs. Comfort and safety look different to children. An atmosphere entirely acceptable to an adult may frighten or intimidate a child.
The child-friendly environment at Valley Children's Hospital features bright colors, themed décor and plenty of areas and opportunities to play. The building has been called “a castle on a hill.” With only two stories visible from the front, the colorful façade at Valley Children’s is far less intimidating to kids than a towering block of brick and steel.
Child Life specialists provide education, play and emotional support for patients and their families. They help children understand and cope with hospitalization by role playing surgery and other medical procedures on dolls and teddy bears. Professionals who work exclusively with kids every day develop skills and techniques to break down communication barriers between adults and children.
Valley Children's Hospital knows how to care for kids!
The pediatric specialists at Valley Children's have devoted their professional careers to serving children. In fact, every employee at the Hospital has made the same decision.