Dell Children’s gets that teenagers have unique health care needs. Adolescence is a tough time in life even when you’re well; when you’re sick, everything feels that much harder. Plus, teenagers often feel out of place in a children’s hospital: you’re too old for the kid-friendly themes but not quite old enough to be in an adult hospital. That’s why this section is Just for Teens.

Our goal is to help teenagers adjust to and cope with hospitalization and illness, to provide educational resources to help you understand your health and emotions, and to connect you with support groups and other teenagers who face the same challenges you’re facing yourself, whether you’re stuck in the hospital, dealing with a chronic health condition or both.

Things to Grab on Your Way to the Hospital

  • Comfy clothes like jammies, yoga pants or sweats. Don’t forget socks and slippers!
  • You might want your own brands of toothpaste and shampoo and such, but we have toiletries on hand if you forget.
  • Your iPod or other mp3 player. We have CD players in most rooms too.
  • Tablet or laptop. All our rooms have wireless and ethernet connections.
  • You can bring movies; we have TVs with DVD players in every room.
  • Your Kindle or other e-reader, plus books or magazines.
  • Game system (they can be connected to the TV in your room) and games
  • Other games or activities, like a deck of cards.
  • Homework (even if you’d rather leave it at home).
  • Photos or drawings to hang in your room.

Tips to Help While You’re Here

  • Ask questions. The more questions you ask, the better you’ll understand your body and everything that’s going on. Ask your doctors and nurses about your diagnosis, treatments and procedures. If you don’t understand what they’re explaining, let them know and they’ll be happy to use “normal” language that makes more sense than doctor-speak.
  • Be honest about how you feel. Your healthcare team has to know how you really feel so we know what our next steps should be. If you’re uncomfortable in any way, we want to hear about it!
  • Chill. Whether it’s binge-watching Neflix, reading or drawing, popping your headphones in and cranking your music up or venting to a friend, everyone needs a way to relax. Find your own way to de-stress and do it daily.
  • Visit the Teen Room. It’s easy to feel like you’re all alone, but we promise you’re not… and our Teen Room proves it. This activity room is just for teens. It has computers with Internet, a foosball table, music, a TV and DVD player, the latest game systems and tons of other stuff. You can meet other teens (who just happen to be stuck in the same boat as you), and spend some time out of your hospital room.
  • Invite your friends over. Just because you’re in the hospital doesn’t mean you can’t still spend time with your friends. If you’re up to it, have your friends stop by to play games, chat or just hang out. You’ll feel more like your old self, and your friends will feel less worried about you after seeing that you’re okay.