Understanding What Happens in Hospital
Hospitals can be frightening places. Over 70% of children under seven have cause to visit hospital, as a visitor, patient or out-patient. We feel it is important that children in the area of the West Suffolk Hospital have an appreciation and knowledge of a hospital before they to have come.
This issue is addressed in two ways:
the pre-admission programme
the Saturday Club
The aim of this programme is to give children a basic understanding of the facilities at the West Suffolk Hospital, the different sorts of people they may meet and the jobs that they do, and some of the things that may happen.
Pre-admission boxes are kept at health centres around the county. The boxes contain activities including books, games, dressing up clothes, medical equipment like stethoscopes and bandages, puzzles showing members of staff and pictures of parts of the hospital.
Included in each box is a ten minute video aimed at pre-school, nursery and Key Stage One children. A DVD for Key Stage Two follows a child from arriving by ambulance to going home and includes a theatre visit. Any group, eg. play group, mother and toddler group or school, can borrow the boxes free of charge by contacting their nearest health centre.
The Saturday club
This is aimed at children who have a planned admission to hospital. With their admission letter will be an invitation to attend a session of the club on a Saturday morning between 10.00 and 12.00 near the time of their appointment. They will be able to look around the ward, meet the nurses, have procedures explained and possibly visit an operating theatre. Some of the paper work can also be done.