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Child Life Therapy

Pre-Admission Visits

  • Preadmission photoVisiting the hospital before an admission may help children to better understand their stay and what may happen to them while they are in hospital. Children and their parents are invited to attend a pre-admission visit, conducted by an Child Life Therapist.

    Pre-admission visits are held at a mutually convenient time, usually in the afternoon. Bookings are essential.

    Pre-admission visits are structured for individual children focusing on their specific condition and planned treatments. We currently do not run pre-admission visits for groups of children. During pre-admission visits children and attending family members are shown many of the following;

    • Admissions office
    • The ward on which it is anticipated they will stay
    • Pre-op, recovery and the parents waiting rooms
    • Playrooms
    • Bathrooms
    • Beds and other known items that are different when in hospital
    • Hospital equipment that they may become familiar with

    Children and their families will also have explained to them procedures and treatments that the child will encounter when they are admitted. This includes any relevant post-surgical frames, intra-venous or urinary catheters, dressings or plasters the child will have.  The explanations are carried out on calico dolls which makes it easy for children to understand. Children are encouraged to ask questions.

    Pre-admission visits are usually held no more than a week prior to admission and closer to the admission date for younger children.

    Children three years and under are not at a developmental level where a pre-admission visit would be of value and they are not recommended for such.  In some cases a pre-admission visit may be beneficial for the parents of a younger child, to enable them to look around the ward, etc and develop an understanding of what to expect.

    Families are encouraged to consider a pre-admission visit for their child. If you feel it would be appropriate, please ask your treating team to make a referral.

    An Child Life Therapist will contact you to arrange a suitable time and date for your childs' pre-admission visit.