Children admitted to the hospital for an overnight visit will stay in the Ellison Building at Mass General for Children. General medical and surgical-care patients stay on the 17th or 18th floor, complete with child- and adolescent-friendly rooms, playrooms and lounges. Each room also is equipped with a bathroom, shower and television. Laptop computers and game consoles also are available on inpatient floors. Each floor has a kitchen and laundry services for extended stays. Parents may stay overnight with their child in the room. See a video introduction to Ellison 17 or Ellison 18, including who's who on staff and accommodations for parents and guardians staying overnight with children.

The Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) is on the sixth floor of the Bigelow building and the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) is on the 10th floor of the Blake building. Overnight accommodations are available for parents near both intensive care units, and some units in the NICU include accommodations for parents. Depending on your child’s case, he/she may spend a few days or a week or more in the PICU or NICU. Then your child will be transferred to an inpatient floor for continued recovery. See a video introduction to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, including who's who on staff and accommodations for parents and guardians staying overnight with children.

Hotel accommodations (PDF) near the hospital also are available; many offer reduced rates. Talk to your social worker for more information.

Help Adjusting to the Hospital

Patients who are scheduled for admission will have access to Child Life specialists, who are trained to communicate in age-appropriate ways with children of all ages about their care. The goal of all staff at Mass General for Children is to help calm parents’ and children’s anxieties and fears about hospitalization.

Patients who are hospitalized are invited to participate in a variety of activities held on the inpatient floors. These include educational and recreational programs sponsored by the Child Life Services and other events, such as performances, concerts and special visitors. Please talk to your child’s nurse on the inpatient floor for more information.

Social workers are also available to address social issues and help children and families cope with the transition to a hospital setting.

Our medical interpreters are fluent in more than 65 languages and are here to help families who don’t speak English as their first language.

For more information, please talk to your physician, or call the Mass General Admissions Office at 617-726-3393.

We have been very lucky to work with Mass General Hospital and Mass General for Children, over my daughter’s several hospitalizations, and we’ve been very blessed and very lucky with the care that she’s received here.

Matthew McGuiness ,
FAC member and father of MGfC patient Sophie.


Planned Visits

Your referring physician will contact the Massachusetts General Hospital Admissions office to arrange for your visit.

Pre-admission testing may be required for planned admissions; your physician will let you know.

Unplanned and Emergency Visits

For unplanned visits, such as through the Emergency Room or hospital transfer, the registration process will take place when you arrive. For children who have chronic illnesses and who may experience acute episodes of illness, such as for pediatric oncology patients, a special direct admission process takes place. In these cases, the pediatric staff is quite familiar with the child’s care and can admit the patient directly to the floor.


The discharge process for planned admissions begins before a child is even admitted to Mass General for Children. This includes making sure you’ll have all the information you need regarding medications, medical devices and other issues related to your child’s ongoing care at home.

As soon as your child is admitted, we’ll try to estimate his/her discharge date. A case manager will work with you and your child to ensure a smooth transition back home or to a rehabilitation facility if required. Other destinations after discharge, such as foster care or a relative’s home, will be coordinated through the case manager’s office.

The day before your child is discharged, you will get instructions for at-home care, including any medications or medical equipment you’ll be bringing home. Also, interpreters, transportation and other discharge issues will be taken care of to give parents and children peace of mind about leaving the hospital and the continued recovery process at home. On the day your child is discharged, your child’s physician may visit him or her. After that, you can take your child home.

For more information, please talk to your physician. Or call the Massachusetts General Hospital Discharge Office at 617-726-3666.

Patient Resources

Pediatric Inpatient Services at MGfC has developed a variety of resources for children cared for on Ellison 17/18 and their families. View the full collection of patient resources here.