In-Hospital Schooling

Courtesy of Memorial Healthcare System - Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital

In-hospital teaching can serve as a bridge between treatment and school. When a child is in the hospital for five days or more, he or she may qualify for in-hospital teaching. Teachers from your school district or the hospital’s school district can provide in-hospital teaching. Many children’s hospitals and the pediatric departments of medical centers also employ permanent hospital teachers.

A meeting should be scheduled including you, your child, and the hospital teacher so that your child can be enrolled in the hospital’s teaching program.The in-hospital teacher will collect information about your child’s regular school programs, and contact his or her school to coordinate with the regular schoolwork. The in-hospital teacher will arrange regular teaching times that accommodate your child’s medical needs and hospital schedule. Typically, hospital teaching is limited to one hour per day, since experience has shown that focusing on schoolwork for longer than an hour can be a challenge for a child undergoing medical treatment.

Teachers may not be able to cover every subject, especially for middle and high school students; however, school credits are still earned during hospital teaching, and this can help a child feel a sense of normalcy in their lives.

If the hospital does not have a full-time teacher, the hospital social worker, child life specialist, or nurse coordinator can help you contact the local school district to arrange for a teacher to work with your child.