Your Child's GI, Hepatology & Nutrition Inpatient Stay

Preparation for gastroenterology, hepatology & nutrition stays

As your child prepares to remain at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) overnight or for an extended period of time, the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition wants you and your family to feel as prepared as possible.

What to bring to your child's stay

We find it helpful if you bring the following items with you to your child’s inpatient stay:

  • A written list of all medications that your child currently takes.
  • "Comfort items" such as a special blanket, pillow, stuffed animal, etc. from home.
  • Any medications you personally take, along with your glasses, contact lenses, etc.
  • A change of clothes.
  • Your cell phone charger.
  • Your insurance cards and insurance information. Our case managers will run a benefits check and call your insurance company if there are any questions about your coverage. If you have any questions about insurance before your child's stay, please call 1-800-664-7855. 
  • Anything else you will need while away from home.

What to expect during your child's stay

Please note that your child’s inpatient visit will be different from your usual appointments. You won’t be meeting with your regular outpatient GI provider, but there will be constant communication between our inpatient and outpatient teams.

The inpatient multidisciplinary team will meet with your child every day. Led by the attending GI physician, the team will meet with you throughout the day to discuss how your child is doing and ask for your input. During your stay, you may be asked similar questions by multiple team members. This is important, and a usual part of the process, as our multidisciplinary team places an emphasis on details. 

The team will work with you and your child to create a treatment plan each day. Your nurse and care provider will update you on any changes throughout the day.

Inpatient team members

Your child’s team may include the following members:

  • Attending physician, a gastroenterologist, who leads the team in developing a plan of care, including testing and procedures​. The attending physician will also review results of any tests and provide treatment options.
  • Fellow physician, a pediatrician training to be a gastroenterologist, who will collaborate with the attending physician and to help lead the team.
  • Resident physician who is available 24 hours a day, who works closely with the attending and fellow physicians to initiate plan of care, review results, and explain the treatment process.
  • Consultant physician, a doctor with expertise in a particular area. This physician may be called upon by your child's attending doctor to help diagnose and treat your child.
  • Advanced practice provider, such as a nurse practitioner or physician assistant, who is available 24 hours a day and collaborates with the attending, fellow, and resident physicians to initiate the plan of care, evaluate results, and discuss the treatment process.
  • Clinical nurse specialist who provides care coordination for the inpatient stay and transition back to outpatient care.
  • Charge nurse and clinical coordinator nurse who coordinate patient flow, assist in the direct care of patients, and serve as resources for staff, patients and their families.
  • nurse who partners with the physicians and you to deliver bedside care, administer medications, explain testing and procedures, and provide ongoing education.
  • case manager who develops a safe and timely discharge plan by making referrals to home care agencies for services and care necessary to follow the treatment plan at home.
  • Dietitian who reviews individualized nutrition needs and provides expertise in lifestyle, diet, evaluating growth and weight, and personalized recommendations.
  • Social worker who provides support, identifies resources or benefits, and connects your family to outpatient community supports and providers.
  • Psychologist who provides support and coping strategies for managing treatment and inpatient hospitalization.
  • Child life specialist who provides age-specific educational resources to assist in coping and psychosocial support with procedures and diagnoses.

Inpatient staff

Unit leadership team – 5 South team

  • Linda Desantis, MSN, RN, Nurse Manager
  • Edisio Semeao, MD, GI Inpatient Medical Director
  • Melissa McLoone, BSN, RN, Clinical Supervisor
  • Samantha Boyle, BSN, RN, Clinical Supervisor
  • Katrina Philipp, BSN, RN, Safety & Quality Specialist
  • Jessica Phillips, BSN, RN, Clinical Nurse Expert
  • Jacqueline Crawford, MS, RN, ACCNS-P, Clinical Nurse Specialist Inpatient GI

Multidisciplinary team members

  • Leah Olude, MSW, Social Worker
  • Nina Foster, MSW, LSW, Social Worker
  • Gina Bogan, RN, Case Manager
  • Leticia Ruche, RN, Case Manager
  • Julia Driggers, RD, Dietitian
  • Samantha Lee, Child Life Specialist

General care and routine

Timing of medications

In the hospital there are set times to administer medications. For example, daily and twice-daily medications are generally administered at 8 a.m. and/or 8 p.m. If your child requires specific timing of medications, please let your bedside nurse know.

Eating restrictions

There are certain tests and procedures that may require your child to be “NPO” which means, nothing by mouth. Your child could be NPO from bedtime until the time of a scheduled procedure the next day. This is to ensure your child’s safety during procedures requiring special imaging, sedation or anesthesia. Other times it may be necessary to keep your child from eating as part of their treatment plan.

Sleeping patterns

To ensure your child’s safety while inpatient, the Hospital follows certain standards of care. These standards are followed 24 hours a day, including overnight, and they can include checking vital signs (i.e. blood pressure and temperature) every four hours, hourly assessments of IV sites infusing fluids and/or medications, and continuous cardiac and respiratory monitoring with leads and wires if your child requires more intensive observation. Your child’s sleep may become interrupted while we perform this care. We try our best not to wake your child while we are performing their care overnight.

Child life and psychosocial services

Our specialized team of CHOP social workers, psychologists, and child life specialists are devoted to providing support to our patients and families. 

Social workers are able to assist with:

  • Providing support to maintain a healthy lifestyle and following treatment recommendations
  • Identifying and assisting with insurance and financial concerns

Psychologists are able to assist with:

  • Difficulties adjusting to medical condition, treatment or hospitalization
  • Concerns related to mood, anxiety or behavior that are related to or affecting a medical condition
  • Questions about parenting a child with a new diagnosis

Child life specialists are able to assist with:

  • Preparing for and coping with a difficult medical procedure or test
  • Age-specific medical play, education and resources for a new diagnosis
  • Developing family coping strategies


If your child has certain blood, stool or respiratory samples sent to the lab, it may require them to be on “precautions.” This is done to further protect the health of your child if they are sick with a virus or an infection, and to also protect the other children in the Hospital from illness.

Precautions involve your healthcare team wearing a gown, gloves and/or mask when entering your child’s room. Parents and visitors are required to use hand hygiene when entering and exiting the room, and your child is required to stay within the room. You can ask your bedside nurse or charge nurse any questions about precautions and when it is safe for your child to leave the room.

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