At Duke Children's Hospital, we understand that, at times, there is a need for additional support to patients and families to help get them through a time of crisis or cope with a chronic illness. We offer many services to provide this added care. From the Child and Adolescent Life Specialists who are professionally trained to help your child deal with hospitalization to the Chaplains who offer comfort and spiritual strength, Duke Children's Hospital staff is here to support your child and family before, during and after your hospital visit.
- Bereavement Services
- Case Managers
- Child and Adolescent Life Specialists
- Decedent Care Program
- Ethics Consultation Service
- Foreign Language Interpreters
- Hospital School Program
- Lactation Services
- Pastoral Services
- Patient Advocates
- Services for the Blind or Visually Impaired
- Services for the Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing Patients
- Social Workers
Duke Bereavement Services representatives help support patients and families before, during, and after a death. They educate people, coordinate services, and refer people to helpful resources both within the Medical Center and in the community.
For more information, call 919-684-4750.
Case Managers are available in areas where the Patient Resource Management Program has not yet been established. Case Managers ensure communication between you, your medical team, and your insurance company to obtain approval/payment for services. Discharge planning needs in areas not yet covered by the Patient Resource Management Program will be covered by the Department of Social Work. To learn whether you are in an area served by Case Managers or Patient Resource Managers, ask your nurse.
For more information, call 919-668-2483.
Child life specialists are trained professionals with expertise in helping children and their families overcome life’s most challenging events.
With a strong background in child development and family systems, child life specialists promote effective coping through play, preparation, education, and self-expression activities. They provide emotional support for families, and encourage optimum development of children facing a broad range of challenging experiences, particularly those related to healthcare and hospitalization. Because they understand that a child’s wellbeing depends on the support of the family, child life specialists provide information, support and guidance to parents, siblings, and other family members. They also play a vital role in educating caregivers, administrators, and the general public about the needs of children under stress. Specifically, child life specialists:
- Help patients develop ways to cope with fear, anxiety, separation and adjustment to the hospital experience.
- Provide developmentally-appropriate information to children and adolescents about their diagnosis and treatments.
- Use age-related activities to prepare patients for procedures and foster their recuperation.
- Provide consultation to the healthcare team regarding developmental and psychosocial issues.
- Provide preparation and individualized support before and after medical procedures.
- Facilitate developmentally-appropriate play, including medical play, at the bedside, in activity rooms and in clinic areas.
- Initiate tutoring services.
Child Life Internship / Practicum
If you are interested in applying for a Child Life Internship or Child Life Practicum position at Duke Children's Hospital & Health Center, please review and complete the appropriate application:
- Duke Children's Hospital & Health Center Intern Application Instructions
- Common Child Life Internship Application Form [PDF, 1.13MB]
- Duke Children's Hospital & Health Center Practicum Application [PDF, 247KB]
Part of Bereavement Services, the Decedent Care program ensures that the details at the time of death of a patient are handled in a thorough and sensitive manner. Program representatives help coordinate the paperwork when a patient dies, provide helpful and clear information to the deceased family, and help the family make arrangements with a funeral home.
Duke University Hospital's Ethics Consultation Services (ECS) helps caregivers, patients, and patient's families resolve ethical issues surrounding patient care. These issues may include starting or withdrawing life support, and patients' and families' rights to refuse recommended therapies or limit therapeutic efforts. The ECS includes physicians, nurses, social workers, and chaplains; they may consult with others who have expertise related to the concern at hand. The ECS is solely an advisory service. There are no charges for an ethics consultation.
You may request a consultation by paging 919-970-8209.
Trained volunteers or agency interpreters are available to interpret for limited English-speaking patients, family members and healthcare providers. Interpreter services can be arranged for any language, and this service is provided free of charge. Respect for cultural practices and beliefs and adherence to a strict code of ethics, which includes the patient's right to privacy and confidentiality, are upheld at all times. If an interpreter is necessary, please inform a member of your unit's healthcare team.
For more information, call 919-681-3007.
The Hospital School is operated by Durham Public Schools and staffed with North Carolina certified teachers. Annually, the school serves around 300 students (both inpatient and outpatient) from preschool through high school.
The Hospital School is a great patient benefit and enables students to continue their academic development and studies while undergoing medical treatment. Services provided for the students include academic assessment, direct instruction and transition support for returning to their permanent school. Hospital teachers work with classroom teachers to coordinate the curriculum standards and specific skills development.
Students receive credit for work completed and school attendance during hospitalization. The teachers serve as an instructional resource for students while they are away from the traditional school environment. When students end a grading period in the hospital, the hospital teachers submit a report card reflecting grades earned and send the information to the traditional school. Students' cumulative records remain at the permanent school of record.
Parents/guardians can assist by bringing textbooks and assigned projects for planned admissions to support student academic performance.
For more information, please visit the Durham Public Schools Hospital School website.
Duke Children's Hospital recognizes that breastfeeding is important to the health and wellbeing of their children. Our Lactation Consultant works as part of the child's healthcare team to promote and support breastfeeding. The Lactation Consultant:
- gives breastfeeding support and education to mothers.
- works with mothers to prevent and manage breastfeeding problems.
- supports breastfeeding infants with special healthcare needs, such as congenital heart disease and prematurity.
- helps mothers maintain milk supply when separated from their babies.
- teaches mothers how to use breast pumps.
- assists mothers in finding breast pumps and equipment.
- provides educational programs for health care providers.
For more information, call 919-620-5374.
Chaplains at Duke Children's Hospital are welcoming of persons of all faiths and are available 24 hours a day to offer spiritual and emotional support to your child and family. Sensitive consideration is given to your family's religious tradition and primary language. There is a chapel on the sixth floor of Duke Hospital, where ecumenical chapel services are held at 10:30 a.m. on Sundays. Sunday services at the Duke University Chapel are broadcast on Channel 50 at 11:00 a.m.
You may request a Chaplain's visit at any time by calling our office directly at 919-684-3586 or by asking your nurse to page us.
The Department of Patient and Visitor Relations is available to work with families to address a wide variety of questions and concerns. As advocates for you and your family, patient relations representatives can:
- Listen to and follow up on your concerns or complaints about quality of care.
- Answer questions about patients' rights.
- Orient your visitors to the hospital.
- Arrange for special services or direct you to resources in the community.
For more information, call 919-681-2020.
Patient Resource Managers work closely with the physician and healthcare team to coordinate your child's care throughout yourhis or her hospitalization and to ensure you have the resources you and your child need once you leave the hospital and return to your community. Patient Resource Managers work with you and:
- Your health care team to make sure and your family understand and can actively participate in the plan of care.
- Your insurance company to obtain approval/payment for services.
- Healthcare agencies you may need to continue your care once you leave the hospital
For more information, call 919-668-2483.
Resources for patients who are blind or visually impaired include:
- Touchable Art Gallery
- Triangle Radio Reading Service
- TV Guide
- Materials on Audiocassette Tape
- Patients' Rights in Braille
For more information, call 919-681-2020.
This free service includes American Sign Language for the hard of hearing or deaf patient. In addition, Duke Children's provides:
- Closed Caption Devices: Your TV remote control can turn on your TV's closed captioning system. Contact your nurse for assistance if needed.
- Door Sensors: For a visual sensor to tell you when someone is knocking at your door, call 919-681-2020.
- Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf (TDD): Call 919-681-2020 to make arrangements for this free service.
If an interpreter is necessary, please inform a member of your unit's healthcare team or call 919-681-2020 for more information.
Clinical Social Workers are trained, licensed professionals who provide a range of psychosocial services to enhance the quality of care for children, teens and their families, both within the hospital and the community.
By understanding patient and family concerns, social work professionals join with families to develop options and plans that meet their child's health, developmental and emotional needs.
At your request, or the request of other hospital staff, an experienced social worker can meet with you to:
- Discuss your family's needs and concerns
- Assist you in securing available community resources and/or financial assistance
- Provide individual, family, and group counseling
For more information, call 919-681-4722.
Volunteers are a special part of your support network Duke Children's. They serve in more than 20 different programs, and do everything from providing entertainment and serving meals to offering a listening ear. If you would like a volunteer to visit you, please contact the Volunteer Program Coordinator at 919-681-6088.
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