The Children’s Hospital Difference:
Why is it important to choose a children’s hospital instead of your local community hospital if your child needs medical care?
Hospitalization for a child is a very different experience than it is for an adult. Having access to a children’s hospital with dedicated pediatric specialists and resources can help ensure that children and their families experience the highest quality of care and support.
Stony Brook Children’s, a 104-bed children's hospital within Stony Brook Medicine, addresses the special needs of its youngest patients as well as their families in numerous ways.
With more than 180 pediatric specialists trained in every specialty, along with a large support staff, Stony Brook Children’s can provide leading-edge care for just about every diagnosis — from a simple fracture to a kidney transplant. Because the hospital extends its world-class care to every patient, state-of-the-art equipment and the latest technology are used throughout Stony Brook Children’s.
As part of an academic medical center actively engaged in research, Stony Brook Children’s is able to offer families access to groundbreaking, and often lifesaving, clinical trials for their children. In addition, Stony Brook Children’s has its own Pediatric Emergency Department, which is open 24 hours a day and equipped to treat the most severely ill and injured children and young adults.
- Among the hospital’s many unique offerings is a Child Life Program with certified Child Life Specialists trained in child development and equipped to deal with the effects of hospitalization on children. The Child Life team works with families to ensure that hospitalized children are kept as relaxed and happy as possible, and provides child-friendly explanations on medical procedures.
- A dediation to "ouchless medicine" helps to minimize the discomfort of procedures such as needle pricks, stitches and inserting an IV. Techniques like distraction, as well as devices like the newly acquired Accu-VeinR, which makes locating veins easier, all help to lessen both actual pain as well as anxiety.
- Stony Brook Children’s also houses a Ronald McDonald Family Room to provide respite for family members. In this nonclinical space, guests can shower, get snacks, meet other families and even do laundry — without ever being far from their children.
- Stony Brook Children’s was the first hospital in the nation to have a pediatric multiple sclerosis center: the Lourie Center for Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis. In addition, it has one-of-a-kind centers for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, celiac disease, Lyme disease and cystic fibrosis, along with a Healthy Weight and Wellness Center that addresses childhood obesity.
A strong presence
Reaching out beyond hospital walls is a key focus of Stony Brook Children’s.
Although most children may never need to spend time in a hospital, it’s not uncommon. To help children understand what a hospital stay might be like before they ever have one, Stony Brook Children’s Child Life Specialists host fun, interactive and educational events for children in the community throughout the year. Using special dolls as patients, the kids learn how to administer injections, perform x-rays and bandage wounds — and leave with an idea of what a hospital stay can involve.
For children who are ill, or have illness in their family, attending summer camp may not seem possible. With the help of dedicated volunteers, including several Stony Brook Children’s doctors and nurses, many children can attend camps meant just for them.
Designed to create a sense of normalcy, these camps enable children with diseases such as multiple sclerosis, cancer and diabetes to learn important strategies for managing their illness while making friends with kids in similar situations, in fun environments.
Stony Brook Children’s also works to make sure that hospitalized children don’t miss out on once-in-a-lifetime experiences. This past June the hospital hosted its second annual prom, which gave many pediatric patients the opportunity to enjoy this very special event. During an evening complete with refreshments, music and photo ops, young patients were able to dance, sing and party with their peers and, for one night, forget about their medical challenges.
Some of these things may seem small, but they all add up to one big thing: the children’s hospital difference. In late 2018, thanks to the support of the Knapp Swezey Foundation and over 3,000 other generous donors from the community, Stony Brook Children’s will have a new 71,500-square foot home in a state-of-the-art 150-bed Hospital Pavilion. This new location will feature single patient rooms, family suites with private sleep and bathing areas, and playrooms and teen relaxation spaces. It will also expand the pediatric research program at Stony Brook Medicine.