Taking care of yourself

Regardless of whether your stay in PICU is likely to be long or short, it is important for your child’s well-being that you take good care of yourself too. Your child needs you to be strong and healthy for them.

Some top tips:

  • Try to get at least a few hours of rest every day.
  • Take some walks outside the hospital.
  • Eat nourishing meals and drink plenty of water or other non-caffeinated fluids. The canteen is open from 7.30am until 7.30pm every day and is located on the 1st floor of the Queen Elizabeth University (adults) Hospital next door. There is also an Aroma coffee bar in the Children's Hospital Atrium; plus there are M&S Food, WH Smith and a soup bar in the adult hospital foyer.
  • Take a break with a friend or family member who is a good listener.
  • The Family Support Service is located on the Ground Floor of the Children's Hospital. It is open from 9am-4pm, drop in or ask your child's nurse for contact details.
  • Other family members will be keen to know how you and your child are during your stay. It may be useful to nominate a close friend or family member as the contact point for this information to give you some time and space, and save you having to repeat yourself on multiple telephone calls.
  • Friends and family will be keen to help, so ask them to take care of the mundane stuff like doing the messages, the school run or walking the dog, so that you can focus on your child when you need to.

Making sense of everything

PICU can be overwhelming. Even trained staff starting in PICU for the first time will take a while to come to terms with all the new words, abbreviations, medicines and equipment.

If there is anything that you don't understand, or would like explained to you again, please just ask us. There is no such thing as a daft question.

You will hear staff using a lot of technical language when discussing your child. Again, if there is anything you would like translated into plain English then please ask. For your information, we have also put together a small Glossary.