What to Expect

A Typical Day

Depending on your child’s diagnosis and progress, the length of stay can vary from a few days to months. On average, the typical length of stay is about three weeks.

During the week, each child’s schedule is structured to resemble a day at school or home:

  • 7 a.m.: Wake up, order breakfast, get dressed, take meds
  • 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.: Therapies/school/music therapy
  • 12 to 1 p.m.: Lunch/rest time
  • 1 to 4 p.m.: Therapies/Child Life activity
  • 5 to 9 p.m.: Dinner, visitors/guests, meds, activities of daily living
  • 9 p.m.: Bedtime

Family Participation Is Encouraged

Parents/caregivers are encouraged to be with their child throughout the stay. Because of the child’s busy schedule and to promote a healing environment, we ask that families and visitors be aware of rest times. These times are noted on the child’s daily schedule.


Patient rooms are located on the inpatient rehab unit on the second floor in the 3rd South tower. Each child is provided with a private room that includes their own bathroom, TV and DVD player. We provide linens and a couch that converts to a bed to let families be at the child’s bedside. Families can bring family photos, drawings and personal items to help kids feel more comfortable, but are requested to avoid bringing valuables.

Hospital-Based School

Dell Children’s offers a hospital-based school program if a child is expected to be here for an extended period of time. Child Life specialists can provide more information.

Siblings Welcome

Young visitors must be supervised by an adult at all times. The hospital has several playrooms available for their use.

Caring for the Caregivers

We encourage families to get plenty of rest, eat healthy meals and drink plenty of water during this stressful time, and also to take breaks from the unit and outside of the hospital. Because we are a small unit, families get to know one another and you may gain encouragement and learn from other families going through similar emotions and experiences.

Going Home

In order to help children and families feel more comfortable returning home, parents/caregivers learn how to attend to the child’s needs, including the use of any equipment. The rehab team will help coordinate follow-up appointments and assist in planning for the transition home.

Helpful Information and Resources during the Stay

On the 3rd floor near the main visitors desk, families will find:


The Thyme Out is located on the first floor. Open every day; hours vary. Ask your nurse for specific times.

Family Resource Center

On the 3rd floor, with computer access and a library for family use during the patient’s stay.

Family Lounge

Located within the rehabilitation unit, offers a refrigerator and microwave.


Can be found on the 2nd and 3rd floors and open to all young visitors; hours vary.

Healing Gardens

The main garden is adjacent to the rehabilitation unit; others are located in the main courtyard and accessible from all floors.

Ronald McDonald House

1315 Barbara Jordan Blvd
Austin, TX 78723

More info about Ronald McDonald House

Shops and Restaurants

Dell Children’s is located in the Mueller Development. There are several stores within walking distance for your convenience.