Purpose: To examine the emotions demonstrated by parents of children hospitalized in a pediatric Covid-19 ward. Background: Although Covid-19 is mostly a mild disease in children, a small proportion develop severe disease requiring prolonged intensive care support. Methods: On October 1st, 2020, a unique ward for children with Covid-19 was established in a large hospital in Israel. Interviews were conducted with parents of children who had been hospitalized in a pediatric Covid-19 ward. Findings: A total of 22 parents of children aged 3 weeks to18 years were interviewed. Three themes emerged: Theme 1: Recognizing their child needed hospitalization in the Covid-19 ward, caused parents anxiety and fear of the unknown. Theme 2: Their child's hospitalization in the Covid-19 ward caused fear and worry at their child's condition, parental stress, shame, boredom, and acceptance. Theme 3: Parents initially felt emotional loneliness towards the healthcare staff in the Covid-19 ward, as well as loss of control, later replaced by feelings of confidence. Conclusion: Parents have diverse emotions in response to needing to accompany their children who are hospitalized and isolated in a closed ward due to Covid-19. Practical implications: Health care professionals are immensely important in providing support for parents and for their children suffering from Covid-19. A national plan should be established to address inpatient childcare during an epidemic. Nurses can encourage parents and family to be involved in the child's care and communicate effectively to reduce both the parents' and the child's uncertainty, shame, fear and stress.
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