What to expect when you come to hospital
We know that coming to hospital can be stressful. Knowing what to expect can make it easier for you.
How to get here
If you are not sure where to go when you arrive, go to the reception desk
in the main entrance of Wellington Hospital and they will explain where you should go.
What you need
When you are coming in to stay overnight, you should bring your own night wear, dressing gown, slippers and toiletries (toothbrush, hairbrush, towel, facecloth, etc.) You can also bring a few favourite toys or books. We have toys in the hospital too, but it is nice to bring some of your own from home.
Who you might meet
The Wellington Children’s Hospital has a lot of different kinds of people working there every day.
There are many different types of doctors in our hospital. They work with
patients of all ages from the very young to the very old. The doctors that look after children and adolescents are called paediatricians (‘peed-e-a-trish-e-anns’, a funny word the ancient Greeks gave us). They have special training to be able to look after children and teenagers.
There are lots of nurses who are specially trained to look after you. Nurses work shifts (when one finishes another nurse starts) so there is always someone to look after you. You will always be told the name of the nurse who is looking after you.
Playing can make us all feel better. They encourage you to play and they are specially trained to use play to help make you feel better. They also help you to
understand your treatment by letting you dress up and act it out. If you are really lucky you can dress up as a doctor or nurse!
Dieticians are experts on eating, drinking and feeding. They sometimes come to
make sure you are eating and drinking properly, or if you need a special diet. They sometimes might order different foods for you, or they might give you special milkshakes and drinks if you need a boost of energy.
Sometimes student nurses and doctors, who are being taught about medicines,
illnesses and caring for patients, may come to see you. Meeting patients who are sick helps them become really good at their jobs and helps them understand how they can best help other patients like you in the future.
Hospi is the mascot of Wellington Children’s Hospital. He is strong, brave and courageous just like you!
What we may use
You know what plasters are, and you’ve probably seen crutches, so here are some things we use you may not have seen before
The sounds your body makes are very useful to us, but they are usually too
quiet to hear with just our ears. We use the stethoscope to listen to your heart beating, your breathing or the noises that your tummy is making. It is sometimes a little cold but it doesn’t hurt and it only takes a few minutes.
Dinamapp, blood-pressure machine
When we measure your blood pressure, we can tell how hard your heart has to work to pump blood around your body. To do this, a machine blows up a special strap (cuff) around your arm or leg. This can feel a bit weird but doesn’t hurt. Then we let the cuff down gently, which takes about half a minute.
Our “magic” cream is a white cream, which makes the skin on your arm go numb. We can put it on your hand before you have a blood test or a cannula, so you don’t feel it.
A name band is a plastic strip you can wear like a bracelet. We put your name and birthday on it and wrap it around your wrist or ankle. All the patients in hospital have to have at least one of these.
A syringe is a plastic tube, which we use to give you medicine or to take blood.
We can also put medicine in a syringe to help you swallow it. The play specialists will let you use the syringes on their specially made hospital preparation teddies and dolls. They might also let you use them for painting or water fights in the summer (but don’t tell anyone!).
This is used to measure your pulse (heart beat) and also how much oxygen is
in your blood. It looks like a small peg with a red light on it. We put it on your
finger or toe. It doesn’t hurt, and usually only takes a few seconds to do (although we might leave it on for longer if we want to keep checking it).
This is like a computer screen with different coloured wiggly lines and numbers on it. It will show us your heart beat, and how many times a minute you breathe. The monitor reads this information from the sticky plasters on your chest. It will also tell us what your oxygen saturation is (how much oxygen is in your blood); this reading is taken from your finger. It can also tell us what your blood pressure is and this reading is taken from the Velcro cuff that has been put on your arm or leg.
A nebuliser is a way of giving you some medicines mixed with air or gas so they
can get into your lungs to make you better. We give you a special see-through mask over your nose and mouth, or ask you to hold a tube in your mouth for a few minutes. You will feel like you have a gentle wind blowing in your face.
A drip is a way of giving you medicine or water from a squashy bag. We can use this if you are not eating or drinking enough or need some medicine. The fluid runs through a machine.
If you have a drip, you will need a Cannula. This is a small plastic tube, which we
normally put in the back of your hand. It is very useful to give you either extra
fluids (if you are not drinking enough) or some medicine to make you better. We can also use it to take a small blood sample. It saves us time, and it saves you having lots of needles in and out.