Thank you for choosing Westmead Private Hospital for your child's admission. Our Paediatric Unit consists of two 4 bed rooms allowing for close observation of our patients. Parents are encouraged to stay with their child during their hospitalisation. If an overnight stay is required one parent or guardian is required to stay overnight. A sofa bed and linen is provided for your comfort where possible.
We believe that children who have received some preparation prior to coming into hospital will cope better than children who do not receive any preparation. To help orientate children and their families please view our virtual tour showing Katie's visit to hospital.
If you have any specific questions not addressed by your surgeons information or this page, feel free to call us on 8837 9280.
The following information will assist you in preparing for your child's hospital admission:
Preparing your child
Tell your child honestly and truthfully why they are going to hospital. Listen to your child's questions and talk about them, you don't have to know all the answers, if you are unsure of the answers ask a health professional such as your local doctor. When and what you say will depend on your child's age and level of understanding. In preparation for admission to hospital it is important that all nail polish is removed from fingers and toes, this is to ensure that our monitoring equipment can accurately read your child's pulse and oxygen levels and to enable accurate monitoring of circulation in the case of surgery to limbs. Jewellery should also be removed at home prior to admission to ensure it's safekeeping and also for safety reasons while in the operating theatre and recovery.
Please pay close attention to the information given to you by the reception staff when you are called the day before your child's operation to inform you of admission time and fasting instructions. When a child has to fast they are unable to consume anything – from chewing gum to food and drink of any kind. This is a safety precaution prior to undergoing anaesthetic; these instructions come from your child's Anaesthetist and cannot be altered in any way without consultation with your Doctor. It is also very important to be aware of how your child feels during this fasting period and we ask that parents and siblings of the patient do not consume any food or drink at the patient's bedside during the preoperative phase of your child's stay for the sake of your own child's comfort and that of other preoperative children that may be in the room. Please note that due to safety reasons, no hot drinks are allowed in the paediatric unit at any time; please ask to be directed to a suitable area to consume hot drinks.
What to bring with you to hospital:
- A list of any medications that your child may take or have taken in the previous 2 weeks (prescription or non-prescription). Also please bring any medications in original packaging with you to hospital
- Any equipment your child may need to aid mobility, feeding or communication
- Formula and nappies
- Any relevant scans/x-rays/pathology results
- A favourite toy or comforter
- A favourite bottle or cup
- Pacifiers if used
- Your child's Blue Book
If staying overnight
- Clothing (pyjamas included – summer weight and button through the front if possible)
- Toiletries including toothbrush and toothpaste
- Toys, books or other activities to keep your child occupied
- Please keep in mind that storage space on the ward is limited. It is recommended that you leave valuable items at home as the hospital does not accept responsibility for any lost items.
Day of Procedure
On arrival to the ward an admission will be conducted, this includes measuring temperature and pulse, application of identity bands, obtaining a short medical/surgical history and changing into the hospital gown ready for theatre. At this time you will be informed about the routine for the day and orientated to the room.
Once ready, your child will be transferred to the pre-operative area where further checks will be carried out before going in to theatre. We encourage one parent/guardian to accompany your child into the theatre and stay with your child during the administration of anaesthetic. Please follow the instructions of your admitting nurse at this time as to where to wait to be called to the Recovery Ward to stay with your child during the initial recovery phase before returning to the Paediatric unit. On return to the unit, your child will be offered clear fluids (jelly, iceblocks, apple juice or half strength formula). Patients staying overnight will progress to a light diet through the day, Day Surgery patients will be offered clear fluids only to minimise the risk of nausea on the way home.
The nursing staff will inform you of an approximate discharge time and ensure that you are aware of any specific aftercare requirements for your child including an information sheet suggesting light diet for the remainder of the day. Your child's surgeon may or may not review them before discharge.
On return to the ward it is preferred that your child is allowed time to settle and sleep – children tire very quickly and it is recommended that family and friends be made aware short visits of small groups are best for their recovery. It is requested that no more than 2 visitors be at the patient's bedside at any one time. Where possible it is recommended that arrangements be made for care of siblings while your child is in hospital (with the exception of breast fed babies). This allows your child to recover quietly and also allows you to be able to give your child your full attention while in hospital.
For Day Surgery patients, your discharge time will be determined by the completion time of your child's procedure and any instructions put in place by your Doctor. You will be given all the instructions needed for your child's care prior to discharge. For overnight patients, we aim for a discharge time of 9am. Your Doctor may or may not visit before discharge; you will be informed of his/her routine regarding postoperative visits.
If you require any additional information regarding your child's admission please contact the nursing staff on West Ward on 8837-9280.