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How is St. Jude child-focused?

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is dedicated to the treatment of cancer in children, and only children. Therefore, when you come to St. Jude for the first time, you will find a hospital and staff that has only one focus - the child.

We strive to ensure that each child has as much "normalcy" as possible. St. Jude was designed with this in mind as our entire facility has only 78 inpatient beds. St. Jude pioneered the concept that hospital confinement for childhood cancers is necessary only in critical cases. Most care is delivered on an outpatient basis. So even if treatment requires children and their families to stay in Memphis, it does not usually require them to be in the hospital for long periods of time. When children are at the hospital during the day for various appointments, activity rooms filled with toys, games and computers to help them pass the time and allow them to play and interact with other children.

St. Jude represents a unique family - and a unique approach to patient care. The entire staff -- from the hospital director to computer technicians to employees who clean patients' rooms -- is dedicated to one thing -- helping children, more specifically, children with cancer. St. Jude employees have dedicated their careers to helping patients and their families.

Patients, doctors, nurses and researchers are located on the same campus. Physicians work with researchers to translate discoveries made in the laboratory into patient treatments. The institution has a wide range of specialists to help families cope with the challenges of fighting a life-threatening pediatric illness. Social workers, child life specialists, psychologists and pastoral caregivers help patients and families deal with the emotional effects. Staff dentists, ophthalmologists, physical therapists, speech therapists and dieticians treat the physical effects of therapy.

St. Jude offers many resources when you want to learn more about your child’s illness. The clinical staff members are experts in caring for your child. They can answer many of your questions. The staff wants you to know as much as possible about your child's illness. We will spend as much time as needed to make sure you know what is happening every step of the way. We also want you, as a parent, to be able to give as much of your child's daily care as you can. We will teach you what you need to know to make that happen.

Another resource is the Linda R. Hajar Family Resource Center. It provides a quiet place for patients and their families to research medical topics, check e-mails, send faxes, read magazines, obtain books, or just escape for a little while. The center is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. A patient family educator manages the center. She is a registered nurse who can meet with you as needed. The staff in the center can help you find the resources you need or explore topics for you. The Family Resource Center offers current, reliable information about the diseases treated at St. Jude. It also offers information about general health, parenting and community resources. The center shelves include popular books, children’s books, and books on tape. Once you arrive at St. Jude come by the Family Resource Center on the second floor of the Patient Care Center to learn more or to let us know how we can help you.

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