What to Know During Your Child’s Oncology Hospital Stay

The Oncology nursing staff at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) is committed to working with our patients and families to provide excellent and safe care. The information given here will help us partner together during your child’s hospital stay to achieve that goal. If you have questions, please ask your nurse.

IV lines and pumps

  • Only the nurse may touch the IV and CHOP pumps. Please call the nurse if the pumps are beeping. Parents are responsible for pumps brought in from home. 
  • While the IV is connected, your child must remain on the unit.  
  • Lab draws can happen at any time of the day or night. To safely draw labs and assess your child, we will turn on the overhead lights. 
  • We will check your child’s central lines and IVs every hour, including overnight. 
  • At the change of a shift (7 a.m., 11 a.m., 3 p.m., 7 p.m., 11 p.m.) the nurse leaving and the nurse arriving will look at the central line dressings, IVs and pumps together. 


  • The patient ID band, allergy band and fall ID band must always be on your child’s wrist or ankle. The only exception to this rule is for children on thiotepa chemotherapy.  
  • We will scan your child’s ID band when giving medication, starting blood and platelet transfusions, and collecting blood to send to the lab. 
  • If your child is on "isolation precautions,” we will fully explain how to maintain these precautions. 
  • It is important that patient rooms stay clutter-free to prevent infection. Our Environmental Services team will clean your child’s room every day and deep clean it every two weeks. 
  • Visiting hours are from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Visitors younger than 18 years old must be accompanied by an adult at all times and may not stay overnight. Breastfeeding siblings are an exception. 
  • Visitors will be limited during cold and flu season to keep your child safe.   


  • We will give your child medications within one hour of the time that they are due.   
  • The nurse will stay in the room with your child until they take the medications (pills and liquids).  
  • Medications cannot be left at the bedside. 

Care routines

  • We will take your child’s vital signs (heart rate, breathing rate, blood pressure, temperature) every four hours (8 a.m., 12 p.m., 4 p.m., 8 p.m., 12 a.m., 4 a.m.). Sometimes we may need to do this more often. 
  • To prevent infection, we will partner with you to:
    • Change your child’s bed linens and clothing every 24 hours. 
    • Give your child a CHG treatment to clean their skin every 24 hours. 
    • Do mouth care as directed by the medical team. 
  • If your child is allowed to leave the room, they should walk around the unit two to three times per day.
    • Your child must wear non-skid footwear while out of bed. 
    • If your child is more than 12 years old, they must wear sequential compression device (SCD) stockings while in bed to prevent blood clots. 

Thank you for working with us to keep all patients safe! If you have any questions, concerns or thoughts on how we can partner with you and your family during your child’s inpatient stay, don’t hesitate to talk to your nurse. We are happy to listen and answer all your questions. 

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