Patient and Family Centered Care in the Children's Hospital

We have many available hospital amenities and services to support your patient and family during a stay at Penn State Children's Hospital. 

Hospital Amenities:

Tree House Café
• Cafeteria in the Children's Hospital on 1st Floor
• Monday-Friday 7am-3pm; Saturday-Sunday 10am-2pm

Family Resource Center
• Computers and printer
• Books and reading materials
• Resources for families and visitors about clinical information, hospitality and hospital services
• Self care items/Shower items available
• Cub's Eye- touch screen with an information directory

Family Lounges on Patient Floors
• Computers
• Reading Materials
• Free Coffee and Snacks

Family Laundry on Patient Floors
• Free detergent and dryer sheets

• Check out our Playrooms where you can find toys, books, games, crafts, and a Wii. The Playrooms are open to patients and siblings (accompanied by an adult).

Teen Lounges
• If your patient or your patient's siblings are teenagers, they can use the Teen Lounge where there are books, a TV, computers, and games.

Ronald McDonald Family Room
The Ronald McDonald Family Room is located on the 7th Floor, of the Main Hospital, across the hall from the South Elevators.  There you will find the following:

• Kitchen with free snacks and coffee for our families, refrigerator and microwave
• Waiting area during day, sleeping accommodations at night
• Privacy Room used for consultations and parent education
• Bathroom with shower
• Parent computers
• Washer/Dryer- detergent available
• TV for family use
• Resources for parents
• Movies/Video Games/Music
• Self-care items/shower items
• Information about Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Central PA, Penn Hershey Children's Hospital, and much more.
• Ask the volunteer to help you make a room request at the Ronald McDonald House.

Hospital Services:

Care Coordinators (R.N.): The Care Coordinator works to maintain continuity of patient care for all patient populations from admission to discharge based on individualized patient- and family-centered plans of care. The Care Coordinators partner with Social Workers to arrange clinical- and community-based resources for your discharge.

Child Life Department: Child Life strives to promote optimum development of children, adolescents, and families by providing age appropriate programming to enhance coping, and minimize emotional distress. As integral members of the health care team in both the ambulatory care and inpatient settings, Child Life staff provide opportunities for learning, for self-expression, for family involvement, and for peer interaction. Visit their website ( for more information.

Family-Centered Care Coordinator: Our Family-Centered Care Coordinator provides support to families while they are in the hospital and connects them to hospital services. The Family-Centered Care Coordinator also works with families who are interested in getting involved in the Children's Hospital such as becoming a Family Advisor on hospital committees or a Family Faculty for hospital staff.

Lactation Services: The Breastfeeding Resource Program is staffed by International Board Certified Lactation Consultants who focus on the support of new mothers in their breastfeeding efforts. Hospital-grade breast pumps are available through our program.

Music Therapist: Music Therapy is a treatment service that uses carefully selected music and music activities as a means of promoting physical and emotional wellness. Sessions may focus on music-assisted relaxation and calming, or active music play for adjustment to the hospital setting and different types of illness or injury.

Pediatric Chaplain: Our Pediatric Chaplain works with pediatric patients and their families. Chaplains are available 24/7 and provide emotional and spiritual support for families and patients. For more information, visit their website (

Pet Therapy: Certified Pet Therapy dogs come in every week to visit patients and families. These trained dogs bring smiles and laughs to everyone they say hello to.

Social Workers (M.S.W.): Social Workers assist patients and their families with orientation and understanding of the hospital environment, counseling for emotional, financial, and social issues, assistance with insurance questions, and coordination of discharge services to ensure a safe and timely return home.

Frequently Asked Questions:

When are visiting hours?
Parents can stay with children 24/7. Visiting hours are 9am-9pm, but ask your bedside nurse for specific details based on your child's condition. All family members and visitors other than parents or guardians, will need to check in at the Information Desk in the Children's Hospital lobby. They will receive a Visitor's Sticker.

Can I use my cell phone? Where can I get calling cards?
The only restrictions on cell phones are when specific equipment is in use in the patient areas. Signs will be posted if cell phones should not be used because of this equipment. At any other time, cell phones are permitted. You may purchase a calling card in the Ronald McDonald Family Room- proceeds go to CMN.

Who do I contact with Financial Concerns?
A Social Worker can help you with these concerns. Ask your nurse to contact a Social Worker.

When will my child's doctor come see him?
Most physicians and their medical team conduct "rounds" between 8am-12pm. This means the physician, residents, medical students, and nurse will give you an update on the plan of care. If something has changed with your child's condition, let the nurse know so the medical team can be alerted.

Who are all these people coming to see my child?
This is a teaching hospital so there are medical students, residents, physicians, nurses and student nurses that work together on your child's condition.
• Attending- Physician supervises medical students and residents and makes final decisions of child's care.
• Resident- doctor training to be a pediatrician or other specialist. Residents rotate every four weeks.
• Medical Student- Student attending Penn State College of Medicine
• Nurse Practitioner (NP) and Physician Assistants (PA)- Registered nurse with advanced degrees
• Nurses- RN (Registered Nurse),  PCA (Patient Care Assistant)
• Student Nurses- Students attending various nursing schools are under supervision of RN's.

Who is my nurse?
• The name of your nurse is on the whiteboard in your patient's room or next to your child's bed.

Can I sleep at my child's bedside?
Pediatric Acute Care Unit
There are 2 places for a Family Member (18 years or older) to sleep in these rooms. Clean sheets, pillows, and blankets are available in the cabinet outside your patient's room.

Hematology/Oncology Unit
There are 2 places for a Family Member (18 years or older) to sleep in these rooms. Clean sheets, pillows, and blankets are available in the cabinet outside your patient's room.

Pediatric Intermediate Care Unit (IMC)
There are 2 places for a Family Member (18 years or older) to sleep in these rooms. Clean sheets, pillows, and blankets are available in the cabinet outside your patient's room.

Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU)
There is 1 place for a Family Member (18 years or older) to sleep in these rooms, with a possibility of room for a second Family Member, depending on the equipment and care your child needs. Clean sheets, pillows, and blankets are available in the cabinet outside your patient's room.

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)
There are no sleeping accommodations at the bedside. 1 Family Member (18 years or older) may sign up for a bed in the Ronald McDonald Family Room. Clean sheets, pillows, and blankets are available in the same room.

How do I get a room at the Ronald McDonald House?
You can call 533-4001 to find out availability. You may be put on a waiting list, but continue to call as patients get discharged daily. Please note that you must live more than 30 minutes from the hospital in order to be an overnight guest at the Ronald McDonald House. There is no charge for stays.

If there is no room at the Ronald McDonald House, ask if they can help you find other accommodations in the Hershey area.

Any family may go to the Ronald McDonald House on a "Day Pass." There are well-stocked kitchens for any family to use, playroom for siblings, shower facilities, and much more for families to enjoy at the House. For more information, call (717) 533-4001.

How can I donate toys and items to be used in the hospital?
Call Child Life at x8366 for more information.

How can I donate to the new Children's Hospital?
Call (717) 531-8497.

How can I donate to Children's Miracle Network?
Call (717) 531-6606.

How can I donate to Four Diamonds?
Call (717) 531-6086.

How can I donate to the Ronald McDonald House Charities?
Call (717) 533-4001.