As part of our commitment to family centred care, St Vincent's Hospital Melbourne welcomes children visiting patients.
Before visiting the hospital
If you can, it is helpful to:
- Spend some time talking to your children about what to expect when visiting hospital. This could include what the hospital looks like, how long you will stay, other patients in the room and what it smells like.
- Describe any changes in the patient's appearance or mood.
- Reassure them that however they feel is OK (if you have any concerns you can ask to see one of the social workers at the hospital).
- Suggest they might like to bring a gift, a card or a drawing for the patient.
- Make sure they wash their hands before they come. You can use the hand sanitiser stations around the hospital.
- Check with one of the nurses if your child is unwell before they visit to see if it is safe for them to come.
During the hospital visit
- Explain they can touch, kiss or hug their loved one if the patient is up to this.
- Keep your visits brief if possible
- Bring some activities and a snack
After the Hospital visit
- Talk to your child after the visit to ask them what they thought and felt.
- Was it what they expected?
- What do they remember most?
- Reassure them that it was great for their loved one to see them.
This discussion will help the child to understand their feelings and thoughts and will help you plan their next visit.
Kids at St Vincent's brochure