Skip to Main Content

Inpatient Services

St. Jude offers comprehensive and high-quality inpatient services for your child.

During your time at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, your child might be admitted for inpatient treatment. Your child may be admitted for one of these reasons:

  • To get chemotherapy
  • Because of fever or low blood counts
  • To manage serious side effects, such as severe nausea, vomiting, or pain
  • After major surgery

Services we provide

The St. Jude inpatient team members are experts in caring for children with serious illnesses such as cancer, blood disorders, and neurological disorders. We strive to provide the best care possible during your admission.

Your team may include:

  • Nurses
  • Care coordinators
  • Doctors
  • Psychologists
  • Social workers
  • Child life specialists
  • Paws at Play facility dogs
  • Many other specialists

The hospital has 5 inpatient units. They are located in Kay Research and Care Center (KRCC), floors 2–5 (known as Kay 2, Kay 3, Kay 4, Kay 5), and Chili’s Care Center, floor 2.

What to expect during your inpatient visit

At the beginning of your child’s first inpatient stay, you will be asked to read and sign the Care Partnership Agreement for Inpatient Therapy. This agreement explains what to expect from St. Jude staff and includes guidelines for you to follow during your admission. If you have questions or concerns, please share them with a staff member. They are here to serve you and your child.

Daily routine

Below is what you can expect as part of your daily routine on the inpatient floors.

  • At least every 4 hours, your nurse or patient care associate will take vital signs—temperature, blood pressure, respiratory (breathing) rate, and heart rate.
  • The staff will try not to wake your child when they take vital signs at night.
  • The nurse may also come by at other times to check your child, take blood samples for lab work, give medicine, teach, talk, and listen.
  • Each nurse is on the unit for 8–12 hours at a time. Before leaving, your nurse will give a full report to the next nurse about how your child is doing. This usually takes place at your child’s bedside. You are encouraged to take part.
  • Each morning a doctor or nurse practitioner will come to your room to see your child and discuss the plan of care.

Rooms and amenities

Patient Room. Each room is private with an attached parent room. The patient rooms have a TV, phone, and a bathroom with a tub. Your child can even bring in a video game system.

Food. You will receive a menu to order meals and snacks for your child.

Room service is available for your child and 1 caregiver. All other visitors may visit Kay Kafe, located on the 1st floor of the Richard C. Shadyac ALSAC Tower. If your child has food allergies or dietary restrictions, Clinical Nutrition will give those details to the Food Services staff. 

  • Bringing food into the room: You may bring food into the hospital room to eat with your child. Be sure to throw away opened food after 1 hour. This will prevent harmful bacteria from growing on the items. Food attracts insects that can transmit disease, so it should not be stored in your child’s room.
  • Refrigerator: Food should be stored in the Family Lounge refrigerator on each floor. Write your child’s name and the current date on each container. Unused food is removed every 3 days or right away if it is spoiled.
  • Nutrition Center: Each inpatient unit has a Nutrition Center that is open 24/7. This area has cereal, juice, milk, gelatin, applesauce, crackers, soups, ice cream, and condiments. The room has a microwave, bowls, plates, and eating utensils. You can take anything your child would like to eat. Food brought into the unit cannot be stored in the Nutrition Center.
  • Laundry room. A laundry room with a washer and dryer is available on the north side of ICU, Kay 3, 4, and 5, and in the center hallway of the BMT Unit. Each room is open 24 hours a day.

If you have questions while you are on the inpatient unit, please ask your nurse.


To protect the health of our patients, families, and staff, St. Jude has some restrictions related to visiting guidelines. Please consult the Our St. Jude mobile app to find the most up-to-date visiting guidelines. If you have questions, ask your child’s doctor or nurse.

Learn more