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Inpatient guidelines and
what to expect


During your time at St. Jude, your child might need to stay on the Hematology-Oncology Inpatient Unit. “Inpatient” is the medical term for a person staying in the hospital.

Read below about some of the things that will happen during your child’s inpatient stay. Your understanding of these schedules helps us give your child the best and safest care.

What to expect each day

  • Every 4 hours, your child’s nurse or nursing care assistant will take your child’s vital signs. This is temperature, blood pressure, breathing rate, and heart rate. This is done at 4 a.m., 8 a.m., 12 noon, 4 p.m., 8 p.m., and 12 midnight. The staff must check your child’s vital signs to keep track of his medical condition. They might need to check them at other times, too.
  • During the day and night, your child’s nurse will come in and out of the room to check on your child, take blood samples for lab work, and give medicines.
  • While your child is receiving chemotherapy, the nursing assistant or nurse will check his diaper and change it if needed, every 2 hours.
  • Your child will have a daily weight check when the morning vital signs are measured.
  • Your child needs the sheets changed and a bath every day. This helps prevent infection. Your child will have a soap and water bath, wipes bath, or a bath with chlorhexidine gluconate wipes, called CHG wipes. Your child’s nurse will tell you which type of bath is best depending on your child’s treatment. It is important to change your child’s sheets and give him a bath every day, even when he does not feel well or wants to skip his bath for some reason.
  • Depending on which chemotherapy your child receives, the nurse or nursing assistant might ask him to urinate every 2 hours during the night.

Guidelines to follow while your child is in the hospital

Here are some guidelines to follow when your child is an inpatient.

  • Wash your hands each time you enter and leave your child’s room.
  • Your child must wear a mask when he is out of the room if his ANC is less than 500. The nurse can tell you your child’s ANC.
  • Only 3 parents and other people can be in your child’s room at the same time. Other units might have different policies. This policy is for the Hematology-Oncology Inpatient Unit.
  • Parents must supervise their children at all times. Children may not wander freely in the Patient Care Center or on the hospital grounds.
  • Patients are not allowed to visit other inpatient rooms. Outpatients should not visit inpatient floors.
  • Only one (1) caregiver at a time may stay overnight in your child’s hospital room. This person can be an adult or a sibling age 15 or older.
  • Parents and other family and friends should not sit or sleep on the patient’s bed. It is important to keep the number of germs low in the area where your child sleeps.

A copy of “Do you know…Visiting Guidelines” is offered in your copy of the Patient Family Reference Resource. If you have any questions or concerns, please talk to your child’s nurse or doctor.


This document is not intended to take the place of the care and attention of your personal physician or other professional medical services. Our aim is to promote active participation in your care and treatment by providing information and education. Questions about individual health concerns or specific treatment options should be discussed with your physician.

St. Jude complies with health care-related federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex.

ATTENTION: If you speak another language, assistance services, free of charge, are available to you. Call 1-866-278-5833 (TTY: 1-901-595-1040).

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