Extra Care for Kids in the Hospital
Find out how a pediatric hospitalist can improve your child’s care
If you have a child, you know the anxiety that can come from leaving them in someone else’s care. Are they qualified to care for my child? Will they provide enough attention?
At Providence St. Joseph Health hospitals, the answer to both questions is a resounding yes.
Our pediatrics teams are trained and ready to provide the medical care your child needs, with the same care and consideration we give our own little ones. We think of you like family, and we want you to think of us that way, too.
That’s why we are introducing one important member of the pediatrics team who may be new to you: the pediatric hospitalist.
The Role of a Pediatric Hospitalist
You probably know that a pediatrician provides medical care for babies, children and young adults. A pediatric hospitalist does the same, but exclusively in a hospital.
He or she follows young patients from admission to discharge, serving as their physician while they are in the hospital and checking on them to make sure they get the care they need.
Dr. Lejano explains that pediatric hospitalists care for children in the emergency department or when they are admitted to the pediatric floor. They also see babies in the newborn nursery, attend high-risk deliveries, and cover the intensive care nursery at night. “This job has many hats,” he says.
Pediatric hospitalists coordinate with a child’s pediatrician outside the hospital, updating them on the child’s condition, getting more information, and discussing the treatment plan. Dr. Lejano says he also has phone consultations with pediatricians both in the area and as far away as Mendocino and Fortuna.
However, he sees communicating with parents as his most important job.
“One of the scariest things for parents is when they don’t know what’s wrong with their child,” he says. Dr. Lejano takes time to explain why the child is in the hospital, what treatment he recommends, and what the goal is. “I try to explain every detail as much as possible to their comfort level,” he says.
The Benefits of Pediatric Hospitalists
The most obvious benefit is that pediatric hospitalists are physically present around the clock. Dr. Lejano says this allows him to visit patients multiple times a day rather than just once a day, as a regular pediatrician on rounds would. “We can pay that much more attention to them, and I think that’s comforting to the parents,” he says.
Because pediatric hospitalists attend mostly to children who are very ill, they are very comfortable with and knowledgeable about the particular considerations. “We work with sick kids all the time,” Dr. Lejano says. “We have more experience dealing with more severe and more obscure illnesses.”
They may also help your child return home sooner. Patients treated by hospitalists were in the hospital about half a day less, according to a 2011 study published in Annals of Internal Medicine.
Forming Close Bonds
Dr. Lejano says his favorite part of working at a community hospital like Santa Rosa Memorial is the relationships he forms with kids and their families. For example, one patient, a boy with severe asthma, was recently granted a trip to Disneyland from the Make-A-Wish® Foundation. When the family found out, they wanted to share the good news with Dr. Lejano and his team first and foremost.
“He and his mom stopped by our floor to let everyone know, because he was so excited,” Dr. Lejano says.
Other hospitals that include pediatric hospitalists on their care team include:
This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your health care professional's instructions.