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Accommodations During Your Child's Stay

Our Commitment to Providing World-Class Care 
When a child is a patient at Children’s National, we consider parents and guardians members of the healthcare team. It is important for you to learn about your child’s condition and be knowledgeable about the care your child receives. We will clarify, rephrase, or repeat any information so you understand everything about your child’s care and treatments. 

There are many resources and services for patients and their families staying overnight at Children’s National. If at any time you have questions or need help locating services, ask a member of our staff for assistance. Concierge Services at 202-476-2220 or the Welcome Desk at 202-476-3000 helps families and patients with personal needs.  

Meal Services for Patients
Patient meal service is provided on each unit during meal times:
  • Breakfast: 7:30 am – 9 am
  • Lunch: 12 pm – 1 pm
  • Dinner: 5 pm – 7 pm
Please let the nurse or doctor know if your child has a food allergy or gluten intolerance. Someone from the Department of Food and Nutrition Services will assist you with your food service. 

Dining 4 Kids 
Our Dining 4 Kids service prepares special meals requested by your child’s doctor. Dining 4 Kids meals meet your child’s individual nutritional needs. A Hospitality Associate may come to your child’s room and help with meal selections. If a Hospitality Associate is not available, you may contact the food cart that services your unit for assistance: 
  • Cart A covers – Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU), Heart and Kidney Unit (HKU), Blood and Marrow Transplantation (BMT) – extension 8340
  • Cart B covers – Neurology, Short Stay, Surgical Care Unit (SCU) – extension 8390
  • Cart C covers – 6e north (GI) 7th floor – extension 8342
Dining 4 Kids Meal carts stop at all inpatient units. General meal times:
  • Breakfast: 8 am – 9:45 am
  • Lunch: 12 pm – 1:45 pm
  • Dinner: 5 pm – 6:45 pm
If your child has food allergies or follows a special diet, such as a gluten free diet, please ask to talk to the Patient Food Service Coordinator (dial 8339 from the room) or a dietitian (pager 8688). 

Dining for Families and Visitors at Children’s National Medical Center 

Children’s cafeteria is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The cafeteria features hot entrees, pizza, a salad bar, and a variety of snacks and drinks, including coffee and tea. The cafeteria also offers a variety of gluten free options. 

The cafeteria is located on the second floor of the main building. To get to the cafeteria from inpatient units in the main building, take the elevator to the second floor and follow the signs. To get to the cafeteria from the East Inpatient Tower, take elevators down to the first floor, walk down the hallway to the main building, and then take elevators up to the second floor.

The cafeteria is open Monday – Friday, from 6:30 am – 7:30 pm, and on weekends and holidays from 7 am – 7 pm. 

Dr. Bear’s Express Cafés
  • Dr. Bear’s Express Café I is a Grab ‘N’ Go food station located in the East Inpatient Tower, on the seventh floor. The station sells drinks, select hot foods, salads, sandwiches, and snacks. The station is open Monday – Sunday, from 7 am – 10:45 pm. 
  • Dr. Bear’s Express Café II is a Grab ‘N’ Go food station on the second floor of the main building. The station sells drinks, soup, salads, sandwiches, and snacks. The station is open Monday – Sunday, from 7 am – 10:45 pm.
Vending Machines 
Vending machines are available at all times, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Vending machines options include hot and cold food selections, snacks, and beverages. Vending machine locations:
  • Main cafeteria
  • Emergency Department waiting area
  • Family waiting areas on the third, fourth, and fifth floors of the East Inpatient Tower.
Coffee Bars
Our coffee bars offer fresh brewed coffee, tea, cappuccino, lattes, and fresh pastries. Coffee bar locations and hours:
  • Main Atrium, on the first floor of the main building, Monday – Friday, from 7 am – 7 pm
  • Mini Atrium, on the second floor, between the main building and the West Wing, Monday – Friday, from 7 am – 2 pm
Additional Hospital Services 

You may cash personal checks for amounts up to $25 with proper identification at the cashier window in the Main Atrium, first floor, main building. The cashier window is open Monday – Friday, from 10 am – 1 pm and from 2 – 5 pm.

Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs)
An automatic teller machine (ATM) is located in the main building Atrium. There also is an ATM in the cafeteria, on the second floor of the main building.

Family Library and Medical Library 
The Family Library and Medical Library are located on the second floor of the main building near the cafeteria. Our libraries are a great resource for parents and children. The libraries contain books and magazines for children and adults, health information, and computers for Internet access and email. 

Regular Family Library hours are Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, from 9 am – 3 pm. The Medical Library is open Monday – Friday, from 8:30 am – 5 pm. Both libraries are closed on holidays. 

Playrooms and Family Waiting Rooms
The hospital has playrooms for very young children and teens. Our child life specialists staff playrooms for patients on the inpatient units. Siblings are welcome to use the playrooms with permission of the child life specialist or unit staff and must be supervised by adult family members. Family waiting areas in the main building and in the East Inpatient Tower offer space to work, read, have a meal, or sleep. Some family waiting rooms have computers that families can use to check email, or to do work or homework.

Telephone Service 
Most patient rooms have a telephone and local calls are free between 8 am and 8 pm. You may request a TTY telephone in your room from staff on your unit. 

Pay phones are also located throughout the hospital. You can find a pay phone on the first floor opposite the Welcome Desk, outside of the Emergency Department, and on the second floor in the hall leading to the cafeteria. There is a TTY telephone at the Welcome Desk in the Main Atrium and at the Welcome Desk outside of the Emergency Department. 

Cell Phones and Wireless Devices 
Patients, families, and visitors are permitted to use cell phones and wireless devices throughout the hospital. We ask that you keep conversations as quiet as possible. All cell phones in the NICU must be set to vibrate.  

All patient rooms have televisions with a free cable connection. If you need a closed-caption decoder, please ask staff on your unit. You can get videos and DVD players from Child Life Services at 202-476-3070 or Volunteer Services at 202-476-2062.

Internet Services
Children’s National offers a complimentary guest wireless network to patients, families, and guests. To connect, you must have a laptop computer with a wireless card, and choose “Bear Air” as the wireless network.
If you have problems connecting or general questions, contact Concierge Services at 202-476-2220.

If you do not have a laptop, some family waiting rooms, the Family Library, and the Medical Library on the second floor of the main building have desktop computers with Internet access that you are welcome to use.

Language Service 
Free interpreter service is available 7 days a week, 24 hours a day for patients and families who may be deaf, hard of hearing, or who may not speak English as their first language. To request assistance before your stay, call 202-476-5444, Monday-Friday, 8:00 am - 11:30 pm


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