What to Expect
How Our Department Works
Triage: The first person you will see is a triage nurse, who is specially trained to assess your child’s symptoms and determine which children are in need of immediate care.
Wait times: We treat children according to how sick they are, not in order of arrival. Even children brought in by rescue may need to wait as we tend to a more critically injured or ill child. Our goal is to see every child as quickly as possible, and to make all children comfortable while they wait. Please tell the triage nurse right away if your child’s symptoms change or worsen while you are waiting.
Food/drink: Please ask the nurse before giving your child anything to eat or drink in the waiting area. Some tests may need to be done on an empty stomach.
Activities: Because we understand how hard it can be to wait with sick children and siblings, we have specialists on hand to provide some fun and distraction. Members of our Child Life department provide play and art materials and activities to calm and engage families in the waiting area. All children who are well enough are welcome to join in.
Care Team: As soon as possible, you will be shown to an exam room, where a team of doctors and nurses will care for your child. Hasbro Children’s Hospital is a teaching hospital—that means we not only look after children who are ill, we also teach people who want to be doctors.
While in the emergency department, your child may see a range of caregivers, including:
- Attending physician—the doctor in charge of your child’s care
- Resident physician—a licensed doctor who is undergoing more training
- Nurse practitioner—a registered nurse with advanced training who is licensed to practice medicine under the supervision of a doctor
- Physician assistant—a medical professional who is supervised by a doctor
- Intern—a medical school graduate who is receiving the training necessary for a medical license
- Medical student —a student studying medicine at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University
- Primary nurse—the nurse assigned to care for your child throughout your visit to the emergency department
- Certified nursing assistants—trained professionals who assist the doctors and nurses with drawing blood, measuring vital signs, taking electrocardiograms (records of the heart’s activity), and more
- Imaging technologists—specialists responsible for transporting patients to and from the radiology department, and performing diagnostic imaging tests such as x-rays
When your child’s visit is complete, the doctor or nurse will give you instructions on how to care for your child’s illness or injury at home. They will also tell you about follow-up care. If you have any questions, please call the pediatric emergency department at 401-444-4900.
The doctor may decide that your child should stay in the hospital for further care. When a room has been assigned, you will go to the admitting department to complete the necessary paperwork. The emergency staff will monitor and care for your child until a room has been assigned and your child’s care is transitioned to the medical and nursing staff on your child’s unit. On most units, a parent may stay overnight in a child’s room.
Three vending machines are located in the waiting area.
The cafeteria is located in the Rhode Island Hospital main building. It is open seven days a week, from 6:30 a.m. to 2 a.m.
Smoking is not allowed anywhere in the hospital. Smoking outdoors is restricted to designated smoking areas.
Please use your cell phone only as needed. You are not permitted to take photos or videos in the waiting room.
Please limit the number of family members in the treatment areas to two.