What makes us unique

Patients and families always tell us there is something special about the staff and physicians at the Montreal Children’s Hospital. Some of the words used to describe us are: caring, supportive, kind, remarkable, thoughtful, sensitive, and concerned. Here’s what some patients and families have said: 

“They were really there for us, going above and beyond the call of duty for my daughter.”

 “The staff were amazing, they did everything possible.”

“They moved mountains for my child.”

 “They simply made it happen.”

The Montreal Children’s prides itself on providing patient and family centred care. What makes The Children's unique is the true spirit of the hospital—a wonderful blend of caring, innovation, uncompromising standards, and dedication to public service that has characterized the institution since the beginning. Over the years, the hospital has become known for its wealth of expertise in various fields, particularly cardiology and cardiac surgery, trauma care, neurology and neurosurgery, developmental pediatrics and mental health.

The Montreal Children's Hospital is a tertiary care pediatric teaching hospital affiliated with McGill University. It is also the only pediatric facility serving the McGill Réseau Universitaire Intégré Santé (RUIS). In simple terms, this means that the hospital must offer its patients the most advanced care possible to teach the newest, most leading-edge techniques to new generations of healthcare professionals. The MCH constantly pioneers new expertise through research, innovation and sharing of knowledge to meet the ever-changing needs of our young patients.

Care is centered on the child and family

All those who care for patients at the hospital first listen to the child and their family. They encourage them to share their feelings and point of view, as they are considered an integral part of the care team. Respect for the child and family in a diverse cultural and socioeconomic clientele is a key value that comes to life every day though the hospital's multiculturalism services, social services, child life and school services and spiritual support services, just to name a few.

This has also had a major impact on the hospital's approach to care over the years. For example, the award-winning MCH Complex Care Service was among the first to offer in-home ventilation services, long-term antibiotic therapy and palliative care. This unit also enables patients who would have previously stayed longer in hospital to recover at home.

Expert nursing is tailored to each child's needs

Nursing care is carried out differently here than in other pediatric institutions. At the MCH, nurses become their patients' advocates the moment their care begins. Nurses coordinate care with all departments and services, support the family, and are actively involved in treatment decisions with physicians. With care becoming more and more sophisticated, nurses also play an important role in teaching parents how to care for their sick child after discharge from the Hospital.

Our nurses are encouraged to continue their education by achieving university and post-graduate degrees. More than 54 per cent of MCH nurses have earned a Bachelor's degree or higher-and the percentage is rising steadily.

The care team involves all appropriate professionals

Allied health care professionals such as social workers, respiratory therapists, and others play an enormous role on health care teams. Their input allows a more complete view of the child’s needs. Our philosophy of care requires that information from all team members is used to present and teach a treatment plan to the family.

Ongoing training every day throughout the hospital

Part of the commitment to providing children with the best possible care lies in maintaining the high standards of MCH training programs and actively participating in the exchange of expertise between healthcare institutions.

Physicians in large groups doing rounds are one of the training groups that are most visible to parents. At The Children's, doctors in training not only learn about illnesses and treatments, but about important aspects of care such as respect for patients and communicating with families.

Training extends beyond our medical staff. It occurs every day with people throughout the hospital, from housekeeping staff to new volunteers to medical imaging technicians. In every case, our training has one simple objective, better care for the children we treat.

Our commitment also extends beyond the hospital walls. The Telehealth program and The Child, Youth and Family Health Network enable hospital staff to share their knowledge with other professionals. This is a natural progression for The Children's since healthcare professionals have been traveling to remote parts of the province and abroad to offer care and teaching for years.

Research is conducted from the bench to the bedside

What does it mean to put the child first? It can often involve finding answers when none exist, and developing better techniques to achieve better results. This has been the motivation behind much of the hospital's research and innovation. When problems persist at the bedside, or a series of problems recur within a population, a solution must be found. Many physicians, nurses and healthcare professionals at The Children's carry out research and they sometimes use information gathered from treating their patients to support their research. In turn, when the research yields results, they can be immediately applied at the bedside, a process which helps deliver the most up-to-date care and treatments possible.

Demystifying the physician in training:

Medical School - four years

Medical students perform clerkships in hospitals during which eight weeks are dedicated to pediatrics. They spend four weeks on the wards, two weeks in neonatal intensive care and two weeks in the emergency room. During these clerkships, the students are under the supervision of the residents and the attending staff member. They have limited patient responsibilities and are fully supervised.

Once they graduate from medical school, students become medical doctors (M.D.) and can be licensed to practice medicine.

Specializing in pediatrics - Another five years

After graduation from medical school, those interested in pediatrics become residents and rotate though all the specialties of pediatric medicine. Once completed, they can choose to remain a general pediatrician or become a specialist in one particular pediatric area. If they choose a subspecialty, they become fellows in that particular field. Residents are under the supervision of the attending physician and adopt more and more responsibility with experience. They are also responsible for teaching medical students.