Welcome Video for International Patients

Children from more than 100 countries have come to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) to receive top-ranked care for rare and complex medical conditions.

CHOP’s Global Patient Services team works with international patients’ families before, during and after their stay in Philadelphia. This orientation video helps international families understand what to expect at CHOP and introduces them to the nurses, doctors, medical interpreters and other staff who will be part of their child’s care team. It also contains information about what CHOP does to keep patients safe and ensure that they receive the best care.


Welcome Video for International Patients

Narrator: Hello! On behalf of all of us here in International Patient Services, I’d like to thank you for choosing the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for your child’s medical care.

The International Patient Services team offers many services to support your child and your family before, during and after your visit to Philadelphia.

In this short video, we’ll let you know how to prepare for your trip to Philadelphia and tell you about some of the special amenities we offer. We’ll also give you an idea of what to expect while you’re here.

Let’s get started.

Preparing for Your Trip

The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, also abbreviated as (CHOP), is served by the Philadelphia International Airport. Other international airports within easy travel distance to the Hospital are in New York City and Washington, D.C.

Please make sure to reserve your hotel accommodations or make plans for other lodging prior to your arrival in Philadelphia. You can view a list of local hotels and other accommodation options we recommend on our website.

As you pack for your trip, it is important to remember the medical needs of your child and your family.

Be sure to pack things like formula, special foods, and any medical equipment or medications your child needs for a minimum of two weeks, as well as his medical and immunization records.

And of course don’t forget your family’s passports and visas, any medications you or your child’s siblings will need while in the United States, and your child’s appointment letter. A complete list of what you should bring is available on our website.

Keep in mind that the weather in Philadelphia may be very different from what you are used to at home.

Philadelphia experiences all four seasons of weather.

The winter months are between December and February, with average temperatures between negative 4 degrees Celsius and 6 degrees Celsius. If you will be at CHOP during the winter months, remember to bring warm coats and warm clothing for all family members.

The spring months are between March and May, with average temperatures between 6 and 18 degrees Celsius.

The summer months are between June and August, with average temperatures between 17 and 31 degrees Celsius.

The fall months are between September and November, with average temperatures between 8 and 19 degrees Celsius.

Working with International Patient Services

Throughout your journey, the International Patient Services staff at CHOP is available to support you. Be sure to write down our contact information and bring it with you.

Our Medical Director is a physician who works with our clinical care coordinators to oversee care for international patients. The Medical Director will also work with other physicians at CHOP, and with your doctor at home, to ensure that your child receives the most comprehensive care. The Medical Director attends family meetings and is part of the team that cares for international patients who are admitted to the Hospital.

CHOP offers you 24-hour medical support while you are in Philadelphia. For assistance when our office is closed, simply call our regular office number to be connected to the After Hours Program. The program is staffed by specially trained nurses who can assist you with medical questions, medication or supply needs after hours.

What to Expect at CHOP

At CHOP, everyone is treated with respect, dignity and compassion. This expectation is set for all CHOP staff and families.

Safety is our top priority. Our staff works in many ways to ensure that your child receives the safest possible care. Some things you might notice include:

Our staff will clean their hands every time they interact with your child.

Staff will also double check your child’s identity, often both verbally and visually by checking your child’s ID band or date of birth (month/day/year) each time they perform care or administer a medication. It is important that your child’s ID band remains on your child’s arm at all times.

Before your first visit:

Please remember that patients must be accompanied by parents or legal guardians for all treatments.

Be sure to bring your identification, passports and appointment letter with you to the Hospital for all family members.

We ask that you arrive 30 minutes before your first appointment time. This will allow you to be screened by security and to check in at the registration desk, where you will receive your visitor ID and be screened for any recent illnesses.

You will be given a CHOP “passport” containing your child’s name and medical record number. Your CHOP Passport can be given to security to obtain your visitor ID badge and to CHOP’s registration staff to check in for your appointment.

Please note that children must be supervised at all times in CHOP’s playrooms, and that siblings are not permitted to stay overnight in the Hospital unless they are breastfeeding.

Your child will have an entire team of expert clinicians providing his or her care. Your Patient Care Navigator will introduce you to many members of the team and help you understand their roles in your child’s care.

Attending physicians are senior physicians who are experts in their specialties. In your home country, they might be referred to as “consultants.”

Nurses and nurse practitioners are valued members of the medical team who work closely with physicians to care for your child. They are highly educated professionals and have extensive knowledge of pediatric conditions and diseases.

Residents are doctors who have completed medical school and are at CHOP to receive further training. They work under the supervision of attending physicians.

Fellows are doctors who have completed medical school and residency and are training to practice in a specialized field of medicine, such as oncology or cardiology.

During treatment, a patient can be an inpatient (meaning he stays overnight at the Hospital for a length of time) or an outpatient (meaning he comes to the Hospital for the services he needs during the day).

If your child is an inpatient, his room may be private or shared. Room placement is based on the patient’s health requirements as well as staffing, and patient rooms may change throughout an inpatient stay.

Language Services and Other Resources for Families

CHOP staff will arrange for interpretation services for your family during your stay in Philadelphia. Please keep in mind that while we try to arrange face-to-face interpreters for every patient appointment, there are some instances in which telephone interpretation is required.

Language navigation cards are also available in a variety of languages at every Hospital entrance to help you access interpreter services when checking in with the visitor desk or when interacting with registration staff. Simply choose the card written in your language of choice and hand it to any CHOP employee. That employee will then help you access interpreter services.

We offer a number of additional resources and amenities to help families feel at home at CHOP, including Halal food options both in the cafeteria as well as in inpatient units, a family resource center, and a prayer and meditation center. There are also playrooms for children on most inpatient units. And many families enjoy outdoor spaces on the CHOP Campus, including our rooftop garden and the plaza at the Buerger Center for Advanced Pediatric Care, located across the street from the Main Building. For more information, please visit our website.

Returning Home

Following the completion of your child’s care at CHOP, the International Patient Services team will help you get ready to return home.

They will supply you with all of your child’s medical records, review your child’s medications, make arrangements for any equipment and formula your child needs, and address any transportation needs.

Sometimes families would like to express their gratitude for the care their child has received. Please keep in mind that Hospital staff cannot accept gifts or money. A simple “thank you” means the world to our staff.

The entire International Services staff is here to make you comfortable and support you during your stay in Philadelphia and after you have returned home.

We understand that this is a stressful, difficult time for your family. Please remember that CHOP is one of the best children’s hospitals in the world. Your child will be in the very best hands, and we will be there to help every step of the way.

We look forward to greeting you here in Philadelphia and getting to know you and your family.

Related Centers and Programs: Department of Global Medicine