Imagine receiving a phone call from your significant other that your child is being rushed to the nearest children’s hospital emergency room (ER) after getting hit by a car. Your significant other explains that your child was hit by a car and is currently unconscious. You leave your job immediately and drive to the hospital, not knowing what you may encounter once you arrive. You run towards the ER and completely miss the sign plastered to the doors stating, “COVID-19 Protocols only allow each patient to have one caregiver at their bedside at any time.” Upon reaching the doors, you are stopped by a hospital staff member, and with a gesture towards the sign, they explain that you will not be let in the hospital. They offer you your only option, waiting in your car to get updates via your cell phone about your child’s health from the caregiver already present with them. You turn around, find the nearest bench, and begin to process what has just occurred.
Inside the hospital, the Certified Child Life Specialist (CCLS) quickly assesses that the patient’s mental status is not appropriate for bedside support, and turns their attention to the caregiver. They find a sweaty, pacing father alone outside the room.