A Gift for Comfort and Caring
The practice of pediatrics requires highly-trained and specialized personnel who have a gift for comfort and caring—and a sincere desire to work with children.
Thanks to Virginia Hospital Center's role as a teaching hospital for the Georgetown University School of Medicine, the Hospital offers 24-hour in-house pediatric medical care provided by Georgetown University Hospital pediatric residents under the direction of our Pediatric Department chief. In addition, the Pediatric department can call on pediatric sub-specialists in such disciplines as orthopedics, infectious diseases, cardiology and neurosurgery. Our own physician staff includes a leading pediatric ophthalmologist on the East Coast, as well as other fully-certified pediatric sub-specialists.
The heart of patient care in Pediatrics is the nursing staff. Our RNs are pediatric nurses, nearly all of whom have Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) certification. With an average of one nurse for every four patients - a nurse-to-patient ratio unsurpassed in the area - every child receives expert, personal attention. Our nurses are trained to use techniques that help to distract children and reduce their anxiety during routine procedures. For example, while drawing blood or administering injections, the nurses use a topical compound to minimize the pain caused by needles. In repeated Gallup polls, our patients' parents consistently praise the compassionate and excellent care their children receive. But our nurses understand that parents are the most important people in a child's life and recovery, so they encourage family visits and rooming-in and will make every effort to meet the needs of your family.
In addition to the nursing staff, pediatric patients also have access to the services of dietitians, social workers and speech, physical and occupational therapists. Together, these highly-skilled professionals provide true interdisciplinary care, to give every child the best possible treatment.
Technology with a Human Touch
Our physicians and nurses have access to the best and latest in medical technology for treating and monitoring patients. The Pediatric unit offers doctors the ability to access radiological reports and films, such as MRIs and CT scans, electronically from their homes or on site. This innovation allows rapid consultation and response, enabling us to deliver superior medical care. A specialized medication system ensures that the medicine a patient needs is always on hand, so your child won't have to wait for pain relief, antibiotics or other prescription drugs. Mobile computers stationed outside patient rooms are used to record vital signs and other data for documentation. Portable monitors for tracking respiratory and heart rates can be used in patient rooms, as well as taken with patients to other Hospital departments as needed.
Our special treatment room is fully-equipped for a variety of medical procedures. By conducting these procedures outside your child's patient room, we help the child see his or her room as a more pleasant and stress-free place.
If you've ever had an MRI, you know that while the procedure is painless, it can be intimidating and noisy. So you can imagine how frightened a small child may be by the process.
To make diagnostic procedures such as CT scans and MRIs less stressful for our smallest patients, Pediatrics at Virginia Hospital Center offers a sedation service. This safely and simply allows your child to sleep peacefully through the diagnostic procedure but does not affect the child's breathing or airway.
From start to finish, we've designed our sedation service to maximize comfort and minimize fears for your child—and for you. You can stay with your child throughout the process, except during the actual scanning procedure. This allows your child to see you as he or she goes off to sleep and immediately upon awakening. A nurse begins by using a topical ointment to numb the site at which the sedative will be administered. Once a pediatric intensivist administers it, your child will go to sleep quickly. He or she will be tracked on one of our portable cardio-respiratory monitors throughout the procedure and during transport to the Radiology Department. A nurse and doctor stay at your child's side the entire time.
Once the scan is complete, a radiologist reads the films immediately. Your primary care pediatrician is kept informed of all test results and procedures throughout your child's stay here.
Virginia Hospital Center can usually schedule such diagnostic procedures within two weeks of your request. Due to the need for scheduling both the sedation and the scan, at most other medical facilities you may have to wait six weeks or more for an appointment.
World-Class Care, Close to Home
Pediatrics at Virginia Hospital Center has brought the finest pediatric care available right to your neighborhood. Now you don't have to travel long distances to ensure that your child gets the best medical treatment. You can come to the Hospital you've trusted for years and trust that your child will be treated like one of our own.