Pediatric Ward

Pediatric Ward- Children and Infants Ward

The patient ward allocated to the caring of infants and children at the St. Maarten Medical Center is called the Pediatric or Children Ward.

We care for children age 0-17 years in a friendly and supportive environment. A hospital admission is stressful, especially when it concerns a child. Dealing with their illness as well as the hospital environment; new faces and medical procedures may contribute to this stress. Every effort is made to make a child’s stay as comfortable as possible.

A child’s primary source of strength and support is their family. We acknowledge that you know your child better than anyone else and we will do everything possible to keep you involved in your child’s care. That is why we encourage you to participate in your child’s care while he or she is hospitalized. By working together, our goal is to make this experience the best we can for you and your child.

Expert Staff
Our well-qualified and experienced staff consists of a pediatrician, registered nurses and ancillary support staff. Other specialized physicians are also available for consultation should your child need this. Because you are a vital part of the team caring for your child:
  • Ask us about anything you do not understand
  • Help us make your child’s hospital experience as comfortable as possible
  • Tell us if you notice a change in your child that concerns you
  • Ask us to explain care in terms that are understandable and meaningful to you and your child.



Our goal is to have a patient centered, family friendly environment. Hence, we encourage parent participation during a child’s hospital admission; parents are allowed to stay with their child outside of regular visiting hours. The possibility of a parent rooming-in with his or her child also exists. 

We also strive to achieve open communication with parents to involve them in feeding treatment and diagnostic decisions regarding their children. 

Children games, books, TV programs and a computer are available to help entertain and pass the time during the child’s admission. Our nurses also entertain and encourage games with our more active patients. Our aim is to provide optimum nursing and care during your child’s hospital stay.

Should a child have or is suspected of having been exposed to a contagious disease the child will be admitted to our Isolation Ward. Sometimes children are put into isolation to protect them from contracting infections. During a child’s isolation, only the parents are allowed to enter the room. Through the large glass pane your child’s visitors can still see and communicate with you or your child. 

Carefully follow the nurse’s instructions pertaining to proper hand washing before entering and leaving the room. Dependent on the severity and risk of infections the staff may recommend you wear an isolation gown or mask while caring for your child. 

Only toys that are washable are permitted in the child’s room. It is recommended you discuss your choices with the nurse first. Because of possible contamination, we urge you to stay in your child’s room or in the recreation area. Visiting other rooms is strictly prohibited. 

If you require adjusting of the TV or air conditioner please direct your request to a nurse.

The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) is well equipped to care for up to six (6) newborns that may be premature or may need special observation or intensive care. 

Only parents are allowed to visit their infants in the Incubator Room. A grandparent may be allowed to visit once during the first 24 hours. Other family and friends are most welcome to greet and look at the baby’s progress through the large clear glass windows. While visiting, mobile phones must be switched off or on silent. It is of utmost importance that the nurse's instructions and rules of hygiene and breastfeeding are followed. 

Should a baby require higher specialized care than our facility can provide, our pediatrician coordinates the medical evacuation to a more specialized care center. 

Because of our commitment to comprehensive care, be assured that we will make every effort to monitor your child's condition, growth and development. The pediatrician makes rounds on all nursery infants one or more times per day to assure that care is coordinated and needs are promptly addressed. 

Follow up visits with the pediatrician will help the parents to check on weight gain, breast feeding, and other important health issues for both mother and baby. Together with you, we do everything we can to start your baby on a healthy life path.

The following is a guideline; you may bring more particular personal items to make your child’s stay more comfortable. 

  • Your child’s ID 
  • Your child’s insurance cards/documents 
  • Prescribed medication (if any) 
  • Toiletries such as soap, shampoo, toothbrush and toothpaste, body cream, deodorant and sanitary wear (if applicable) 
  • Comb and/or brush 
  • Towels and washcloths 
  • Underwear 
  • Pajamas 
  • Slippers 
  • Socks (if the child is undergoing an operation 
  • Going home clothes 

Things to provide comfort during your child’s stay: 

  • Favorite toy; stuffed animal or security item from home 
  • Books, crayons or games 
  • Electronics, only if a headset is available 

Be certain to label any personal items. 

Please do NOT bring the following items to the Pediatric Unit: 

  • Rubber balloons (inflated or non-inflated); Foil balloons are allowed. 
  • Popcorn 
  • Peanuts 
  • Soda pop in glass bottles.

You play an important role in your child’s recovery and progress which is why you, as a parent, are given the opportunity to stay and sleep at your child’s bedside during his/her hospitalization. This process is called ‘rooming-in’ with your child. Rooming-in is possible to parents of children admitted to the General Pediatric Ward and Isolation Pediatric Ward. 

Your child will cope much better during his or her hospitalization when you are there providing support and psychological comfort. Rooming-in accommodations is provided for one parent or Support Person. You can choose to rotate with your partner or a Support Person, who can be a grandparent, aunt, babysitter or your child’s brother or sister, as long as they are over 18 years old. 

If you are interested in rooming-in with your child, please advise the pediatric staff. You will be provided with a folding bed next to your child’s bed. If you have special needs, please speak with your child’s nurse. 

Rooming-in requires a certain amount of cooperation between parent and staff. Here are a few rules where we count on your cooperation: 

  • No smoking in rooms or Recreation Area. 
  • Food and drink should be consumed in Recreation or Garden Area. 
  • Do no sit or lay down on your child’s bed or unoccupied beds. 
  • Please keep the noise level down at all times. 
  • The parent or guardian who is rooming-in must be in by 9pm. 
  • Please set your cell phones to vibrate after 9pm. 
  • You will be given a folding bed to sleep on. As space is limited, you are kindly requested to fold the bed before 7am every morning. 
  • Doctor’s rounds are made between 7.30 and 8.30am. Be available and prepared to ask questions and to discuss the progress of your child’s health during this time. 
  • The lavatory facilities in the rooms are intended for patients only. A public lavatory is located in the children recreation area and can be used by parents and visitors. If you are from abroad and staying with your child you may utilize the shower if you wish. 
  • Only a parent (or the Support Person) is allowed on the ward outside of visiting hours. Visitors must adhere to the regular visiting hours. 
  • Always inform the nurse when you are leaving (for home or for work) and when you are expected to return. Let the nurse know if and which Support Person will be replacing you while you are gone. 
  • Your child will probably be sharing a room with another patient and his or her Support Person. We urge you to be sensitive to patients’ and families’ needs for quiet and privacy. 

Other rules specific to the Pediatric Ward 

  • Resting time for all children is from 1pm to 3pm. Television sets will be turned off. Encourage your child to take a nap or read during that time. As parents, you may also make use of this opportunity to take a break. 
  • During meals and visiting hours television sets will also be turned off. 
  • Television should always be set to children programs.

Prepare your child for any upcoming surgery by discussing what he or she can expect. The Pediatric Ward has a little booklet that can be used to demonstrate how your child will be prepped for surgery and what to expect once he or she reaches the operation room. 

Your child’s nurse is aware of any tests and/or procedures and will let you know the schedule. After midnight, the day before surgery, (or after the time specified by the anesthesiologist) as you would have been instructed, your child must not have anything to eat or drink. 

Please come to the hospital at least two hours prior to the scheduled surgery time. Your child will need to change into a hospital gown and put on socks. You can prepare and assist your child with this change of clothing. You can then accompany your child as his or her bed is wheeled to the operation room and stay with him/her as long as possible before the procedure. After surgery your child will want to see you as soon as permitted. Your child may want to change back into his/her own pajamas. The nurse will inform you when that is advisable depending on your child’s condition.

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