Your Child’s First Visit

The initial visit allows the doctor to evaluate your child’s condition. During this visit, you will meet your medical interpreter and many members of your child’s healthcare team. The healthcare team will typically review the history of your child’s illness and previous treatments and your child will usually have a physical exam. Sometimes children will have diagnostic testing during their first visit, but these are often scheduled after the initial evaluation.

In a follow-up visit that happens when the initial evaluations are complete (usually within one to two weeks after the first visit) the healthcare team will discuss the potential treatment plan with your family.

An orientation to CHOP

Learn more about what you can expect from The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and International Patient Services in the orientation below.

What to bring with you

  • The appointment confirmation letter provided to you by International Patient Services
  • Another adult to assist you if you must bring other children
  • Books, DVDs, games, formula, diapers, a change of baby clothes or other necessities 

The following information must be provided before you arrive in Philadelphia, but some families also like to bring these records to their first appointments.

  • All of your child’s medical records, in English, and a list of your child’s medications
  • Any imaging studies, either reports or CDs, as well as results of any laboratory work or tests
  • A list of questions you may have for the physician. If your child is old enough, help him or her to add to the list, too

Outpatient visits

If your child is scheduled for an outpatient appointment at one of the Hospital clinics, you will be asked to check in at the registration desk. At this time, any paperwork will be processed and your child’s height, weight, and vital signs (temperature, heart rate, breathing rate) will be recorded. If necessary, blood work may be done before or after your child sees the doctor.

Inpatient hospital stays

patient bedIf your child is admitted to the Hospital as an inpatient, he will be given a fresh bed in a room on the unit where initial care will be provided. This room may be shared with another child, or it may be private. Because of the number of patients who come to CHOP for care, the Hospital cannot guarantee a private room, unless your child’s condition requires that he be isolated from other patients. Room assignments are based on the number of patients in the Hospital and on the number of nurses on staff in each unit. Please remember that CHOP must put patients’ medical needs first over general room preference, and that medical staff is not involved in assigning rooms to patients.

During the course of your child’s stay, your family may be moved between rooms on one floor or between floors of the Hospital. Any moves from room to room are made for safety reasons or because of treatments your child may need in another area of the hospital. This is normal, and our staff will do everything possible to make these moves easy for your family.

Intensive Care Units (ICU or PICU). If your child’s medical condition requires extra monitoring by Hospital staff, he will be cared for in an Intensive Care Unit (ICU or PICU). Routines and rules in the ICU PICU are different from regular inpatient units, and are put in place to ensure your child gets the level of care he or she needs.

Contact Us

Reach an International Care Coordinator at:

001-267-426-6298