Preparing Your Child for Hospital

February 8, 2019| Health and Wellbeing /

Finding out that your child needs to be admitted to hospital for surgery or something else, can feel extremely daunting.

As a mum of four, I have experienced being the parent of a child needing surgery, multiple times now. What I have learned is that it is best to be as prepared as possible in the lead up.

The first step in this preparation is of course explaining to your child what is going to happen to them once they arrive at the hospital. Going into a huge amount of detail can be overwhelming for little people, so it’s best to stick to the basic facts.

  • Mummy/Daddy will be with you the whole time.

  • You will be having a big sleep and when you wake up your operation will be finished.

  • You will be safe.

  • You might feel a bit sore when you wake up but the doctors and nurses will be ready to give you medicine.

Preparing children for hospital

It can help to bring along your child’s favourite comfort toy, a pillow and their pyjamas. If you are staying the night as well, bring along a change of clothes for yourself, your toiletries and some pyjamas. A couple of books or an iPad can also be useful.

Once you are settled in on the ward and in your room a nurse will go over the hospital paperwork with you and place an ID bracelet on your child’s wrist.

Before heading into surgery, your child’s doctor will most likely pop in to have a quick chat with you to discuss what is expected during surgery and later in recovery.

One parent is allowed to accompany the child to theatre and stay with them while they are placed under sedation. Keeping as calm as possible, which can of course be hard under the circumstances, is best for your child, as they can then drift off to sleep peacefully.

While your child’s surgery is taking place, you are welcome to make use of the parent’s kitchen on the ward, or head into the hospital’s cafe for a bite to eat. It’s a good time to recharge your batteries as the day can be emotionally trying and it’s really important that you look after yourself too.

The recovery department will call you as soon as your child is out of surgery and beginning to wake up. You will then be able to sit with them while they come out of sedation. Some children wake up quite easily while others can get a bit of a fright.  Nurses will be on hand to help you with whatever you need to calm your little one down.

Once you’re all back on the ward, and your child is comfortable and has had something to eat and drink, they might like to head into the children’s retreat zone to check out the amazing fish tank, toys and books on offer.

The staff at Epworth are always ready and willing to help you through this time. Please don’t hesitate to ask for help if you need it, and good luck with your child’s impending surgery.

Erin Giansiracusa


Join the conversation on The Village

February 12, 2019| Health and Wellbeing/

Mental Health - The Elephant in the Room

With the rates of mental illness on the rise in Australia, particularly in young people, we decided to open up the can of worms and speak to clinical psychologist, Hannah Hawkes, about the elephant in the room.

February 11, 2019| Epworth News/

EMI at Epworth Geelong to receive Medicare-eligible MRI licence

“A full MRI licence at Epworth Geelong means that patients will no longer compromise on health outcomes based on affordability.”

February 10, 2019| Epworth News/

Record Number of Graduate Nurses to Join Epworth

A record number of graduate nurses and midwives are set to join the Epworth team in February and March this year, for an exciting opportunity to consolidate their theoretical and clinical skills. 

February 10, 2019| Health and Wellbeing/

Tummy Troubles

Tummy aches can be extremely common in young children. Some are mild and non threatening, others need to be taken more seriously. Here we will run through a few different concerns and how best to handle the pain for your little one.

February 9, 2019| Health and Wellbeing/

Does it Need Stitches?

When your child injures themselves and bleeding is involved it can be scary for everyone. Knowing exactly what to do and when you should be seeking medical attention, can help to take some of the stress out of the situation.