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Pediatric Medicine Unit

The Pediatric Medicine Unit (3C) provides inpatient care to infants and children ages 0 through 17. Specialized care is provided for a number of medical conditions including complex congenital abnormalities, endocrine, gastrointestinal, cardiac, respiratory, musculoskeletal disorders, and neurology.

This unit is connected to the Comprehensive Epilepsy Program which includes an Epilepsy Monitoring Unit to admit children who require seizure monitoring.

Care We Provide

  • Infant feeding
  • Pediatric medicine including acute management of asthma, diabetes, seizure disorders, nephrology, and infectious diseases
  • Comprehensive Diagnostic Investigations
  • Epilepsy Monitoring Unit

Becoming a Patient

Patients are admitted in a few ways:

  • After being assessed and treated in the Pediatric Emergency Department
  • After being transferred from the Pediatric Critical Care Unit
  • On referral from a family doctor or pediatrician

What to Expect

You are welcome to bring in personal items for your child such as favorite toys, books and music.

Visiting is 24 hours. You may choose a few people to visit your child. Visitors must come with a parent or guardian. Your child may have a total of 2 people in the room at a time during the daytime, and we recommend only 1 parent or caregiver to sleep at the bedside overnight. If you are not feeling well, talk to your child’s nurse. You can decide together the best thing to do.

People who are special to you may visit anytime, however, because sleep is so important for recovery we suggest limiting visitors after 9 p.m. If you wish to restrict visitors, please let us know.

Visitors must be in good health. We do this to protect the children from getting sick. Your children, family members and visitors should not visit if they have any of these problems:

  • A rash, itchy skin or infection on the skin or hands
  • A cold or runny nose
  • Diarrhea (loose or watery bowel movements) for at least 48 hours
  • Vomiting (throwing up)
  • Fever
  • Recent exposure to someone with chicken pox, measles or the flu

Team Members

There are two rotating ‘Medical Teams’ dedicated to providing care to patients on this 32-bed unit. This team includes: Staff/MRP physician, Senior Pediatric Residents, General Pediatric Fellow, Nurse Practitioners, Junior Pediatric Residents and Clinical Clerks.

Other members of the interprofessional team include Nurses, Respiratory Therapists, Social Workers, Physiotherapists, Child Life, Dietitians, Pharmacist, Pharmacy Technologist, Environmental Aides and Students.

Attending Physician/Most Responsible Physician (MRP)

  • The pediatrician most responsible for coordinating the care plan for your child.
  • Typically on duty for one week, then another doctor takes on the responsibility

Pediatric Fellow

  • Pediatricians who are getting more specialized training in the care of children
  • Pediatric Fellows report to the Attending Physician or Consulting Physician

Nurse Practitioner (NP)

  • Registered nurses with additional education and training
  • Coordinate, consult and provide direct care to children with specific health problems and their families

Resident Physician

  • A doctor with advanced training in patient care
  • Residents report to the Attending Physician or Consulting Physician

Medical Student/Clinical Clerk

  • Student doctor, usually in their final year of medical school
  • Students report to the Attending Physician or Consulting Physician


  • As this is a teaching hospital, you may meet student nurses and other learners on the health care team
  • They work under the close supervision of a fully trained health professionals

Consulting Physician

  • A doctor who is a specialist in one type of medicine. For example, a child may need to see a pediatric cardiologist or a heart specialist

Registered Nurse (RN)

  • The nurses who work on the ward have additional training and experience providing nursing care for sick children

Registered Nurses:

  • Assess your child’s condition and progress
  • Give your child medications
  • Assist with all aspects of your child’s care

Clinical Manager

  • Responsible for the hospital’s pediatric medical program, including patient care, and staffing

Charge Nurse

  • Supervises the unit and is available to discuss nursing care, hospital services or your child’s need and comfort
  • Manages the daily operations of the unit along with the health care team

Respiratory Therapist (RT)

  • Assess your child’s breathing
  • Manage the oxygen and breathing support your child needs
  • Help with procedures involving the lungs


  • Manages the medications ordered by your child’s doctor and prevents problems related to medications
  • The pharmacist works very closely with the doctors and nurses to provide safe medication therapy.
  • Teaches you about your child’s medications

Pharmacy Technician

  • Helps with preparing and distributing medications

Child Life Specialist

  • Are experts in child development who help children express their feelings and learn through art and play
  • A child life specialist can meet with your child and their siblings to offer age appropriate information to help them understand and cope with their hospital experience.
  • Help children adjust to being in the hospital

Social Worker

  • Helps families adjust to illness
  • Plans what services and supports the family will need when they leave the hospital
  • The Social Worker provides support to patients


  • Is available for families’ religious and spiritual needs
  • Can provide spiritual are to people of all faiths, or arrange care by clergy in the community

Registered Dietician

  • Is an expert in nutrition who assess your child’s dietary needs and eating patterns
  • Works with you and the doctors to plan a diet that promotes recovery

Occupational Therapist (OT)

  • Helps children to develop skills needed to return to activities of daily life


  • Helps children build their strength, mobility and regain physical function to the greatest extent possible

Business Clerk

  • The business clerk greets and directs families and visitors to the ward

Speech and Language Pathologist

  • Is an expert in your child’s speech and language needs
  • Works with your child to make a tailored plan for reading, speech and language for their best possible function

Environmental Aide

  • Essential in keeping the ward running smoothly, by keeping supplies stocked, and the unit clean

Food Handler

  • The person who delivers meal trays to patient rooms

Music Therapist

  • Uses music to help your child recover through engagement, relaxation, and motivation

Clinical Leader

  • Manages the day-to-day operations of the unit and provides leadership to other team members
  • They work closely with the Clinical Manager

Family-Centered Care

The care we provide reflects what matters most to our patients and families. We will:


  • Get to know you and your family and treat you with dignity and respect
  • Communicate with you and your family about your child’s care
  • Update you on your child’s progress


  • Ensure you understand the health concerns about your child
  • Partner with you in decisions about your child’s care
  • Help you take part in your child’s care
  • Plan next steps in your child’s care together


  • Respond promptly when you or your family need help
  • Include persons who are important to you in your child’s care
  • Provide convenient, accessible, child-friendly and welcoming environment
  • Seek and respond to your family’s comments about our care

Family Rounds

Every weekday morning between 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. the whole team will discuss your child’s plan of care at the bedside. This is a great opportunity for you to ask questions and participate in the plan of care.

White Board communication tools are available in every room to help patients and families stay connected with the health care team.

Meds to Beds

Patient Prescription Service which creates a seamless process for patients and families to better access their medications at the time of discharge. The McMaster Outpatient Pharmacy is staffed with Pediatric Pharmacists and has a wide range of specialty medications not immediately available in community pharmacies. With patient and family agreement, your prescription will be faxed to the Outpatient Pharmacy and you will be able to pick up your medication on discharge.

Getting Ready for Discharge

Final decisions for discharge are made during the morning rounds (10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.) based on patient condition. The expectation is that once discharged, you are prepared to go home.


Where can I find something to eat?

There is a cafeteria located on the 1st floor. The Corner Café on the 2nd floor, just inside the main entrance, across from the gift shop. Learn more about food and shops available at McMaster Children’s Hospital. [link to McMaster Children’s Hospital Food and Shops page]

Where can I do laundry?

Laundry facilities are available in the Ronald MacDonald Room located just around the corner from the unit.

Is there a Ronald MacDonald House?

Yes, learn more about Ronald McDonald House on the Visiting HHS page. [link to “Where to stay” accordion section on “Visiting HHS”]

Are there events and activities available?

Our Child Life team organizes a number of annual and special events for patients on the pediatric medicine unit.