Koala – Cardiac Surgery

Parent Information

  • Koala Ward (Cardiac & Renal Unit) 

    The Koala Ward provides care for children with both cardiac and renal conditions.
    At times we also receive patients from other specialties. Our ward has 30 beds. 90% of patient rooms are single-bedded, increasing privacy, reducing noise and improving infection control within the ward. The children cared for come from Victoria, other states and territories in Australia, and from overseas.

    The continual review of surgical procedures, diagnostic techniques and nursing practice enable us to maintain medical treatment and nursing care comparable to that of other centres of excellence worldwide.

    Visiting Koala

    Click here for up-to-date visitor guidelines. Some restrictions on visitor numbers are in place due to COVID-19 – please check carefully before you visit.

    Before entering koala Ward please remember to apply the provided hand gel and rub your hand until dry.

    Parents and Guardians are welcome to be with their child as much as possible. Please feel free to bring in a favorite toy or comfort item for your child room. 


    You are welcome to photograph and video your child while in Koala, but please do not capture images of any RCH staff or other children or family members unless they give permission. 

    Quiet time

    Koala has a 'Quiet Time' between 12pm and 2pm.  During these hours we restrict procedures required, visitors (including siblings) and general noise overall. Only parents are allowed on the ward at this time to encourage a time of rest for all patients, which is important for recovery. Please help us to keep this period of time as a period of rest for all patients, including your own child.

    Mobile phones

    Please be considerate of mobile phone use during ward rounds and when talking with staff members. Please keep mobiles on silent. There are phones in each patient’s room for family/friends to call you on, please ask nursing staff for you child room’s phone number.

    Ward Facilities

    Patient Rooms

    Every patient room has a clinical zone, patient zone and family zone:

    The clinical zone has point of care consumables.

    The patient zone has a headboard with necessary gases and power points, a bed, a patient education & entertainment system, a desk and storage including a safe for valuables.

    The family zone has a couch that converts into a bed for a parent to stay overnight, and storage space. There are switches for volume and lighting control. We ask that you take care of your personal items: the hospital is not responsible for any loss or theft of your possessions or those of your child.

    There is only one parent/ guardians allowed to stay at the bedside overnight. Alternate accommodation options near the hospital are also available for your sleep/rest. Please ask your child’s nurse or social worker for details.

    Parent’s Lounge

    This room is available for 24 hour use by parents. This is shared between the Koala Ward and Rosella Ward. It includes a lounge, dining area, kitchenette and balcony. Toilet facilities, including baby change room are adjacent to the parent’s retreat. It is expected that parents keep this area clean and tidy.

    Expressing mothers:

    The expressing room outside the parents lounge is available on a 24 hour basis for mother's to express breast milk, or you may prefer to express in your baby’s room with portable expressing units available. These can be located in the formula room on the Koala ward. Expressed breast milk that is in excess of your baby's requirements should be taken down to level B2 to be stored in the central Formula room.

    Koala Ward Medical Rounds:

    Cardiac rounds occur from approximately 8.30am - 9.30am. Parents may remain at patient's bedside however this is not the case in the Intensive care unit.

    Renal rounds are less specific although generally occur between 9am and 11am.   


    Royal Children’s Hospital operates under a Food Safety policy and takes all reasonable precautions to fulfill our “due diligence” responsibilities to provide safe food to our children and breast feeding mothers. The Royal Children’s Hospital food business is classified as a class 1 premises. Special diets can be arranged by notifying the bedside nurse staff.

    Meal times are approximately 

    Breakfast: 7.30am    *Lunch: 11.30am    *Dinner: 4.30pm

    Bring Food from Home – The Royal Children’s Hospital recommends children admitted to hospital do not consume meals brought from home of outside suppliers (take away) during their stay.  Please only eat cold foods/snacks and drinks in your child’s room, and please do not eat in your room if your child is fasting. 

    Koala Staff

    The care of your child is managed by a team of healthcare professionals who will keep you up-to-date on your child progress. Some of the staff that you will encounter will be:

    The Medical Director and Nurse Unit Manager who have overall responsibly for the leadership and management of the Koala ward. 

    Medical staff

    Your child will have a primary medical team made up of junior and senior medical staff during their stay on Koala.  

    Nursing Staff

    Nursing staff are the primary care givers to your child. Any questions you have regarding your child's care should be directed to the nurse looking after your child.

    Nurse Unit Manager is available to discuss any issues you may have Monday to Friday.

    Associate Nurse Unit Managers (ANUM) who provides nursing clinical leadership and is in-charge of the shift.

    Nurse Coordinators help coordinate the care of long term patients or patients who have complex care needs that are staying within the Koala ward. 

    Clinical Support Nurse:  are senior nurses that assist with the development and education of nursing staff on the ward.

    Lactation Consultants: Provide specialist information and assistance with breastfeeding and expressing breast milk. Available Monday to Friday

    Allied Health Staff

    Ward Clerks and Patient Services Assistants (PSA) who assist in running Koala ward.

    Social workers: Social Workers are available to see any family during a child's hospitalisation. They can offer both emotional and practical support, such as financial assistance and community links. Social workers can be contacted through the nursing staff.

    Physiotherapists: The physiotherapist plays an important role in your child's recovery, particularly in the postoperative period. They are generally more involved in cardiac patient care and often meet with and assess your child prior to surgery.

    Dieticians: A dietician is available to discuss your child's feeding plan and dietary requirements.

    Child Life Therapists: Child Life therapists provide a program of educational and recreational activities to assist your child in recovery, and to meet developmental needs. They can also provide diversion during procedures. Referrals to Child Life Therapy can be made by your child’s nurse.

    Music Therapists: provide clinical music therapy services to children and adolescents with a range of medical conditions using targeted therapy sessions to assist with aspects of their hospital experience.  The aim of Music Therapy is to use the experience of music to provide treatment support, mental health support and/or neurodevelopment.  This is achieved through a range of face-to-face services and resourcing. Referrals to Child Life Therapy can be made by your child’s nurse

    Volunteers: Several volunteers work on Koala to provide additional help with patient care. For example, they assist the play therapists and help to comfort babies.

    Chaplains: Pastoral and Spiritual Care offers support for individuals and families. The care offered is non-religious, unless specifically requested.

    Prayer  and Meditation
    Murrup Biik which can be found on the ground floor is a calm welcoming space for prayer, meditation or quiet reflection for people of all or no faith. Please ask your nurse or the ward clerk for directions if needed.

    Interpreters: A confidential interpreter service is available 24 hours, interpreters are available within the hospital to assist non-English speaking families. Their hours are from 8.30 am to 6pm, seven days a week. There is also an on-call service available if required