A nurse checks on a patient in the cancer ward

Departments

Inpatients

Children and adolescents stay on Ward 2 West of the Austin Hosptial under General Paediatrics, Paediatric Endocrinology, the Children’s Epilepsy Program, and the Eating Disorders Program,as well as a range of medical and surgical specialties. These include ear, nose and throat surgery, orthopaedic surgery, dermatology, ophthalmology and plastic and facio-maxillary surgery.

Our Nurse Unit Manager is Jenny Spiller, who is available should parents require any assistance. A nurse will be allocated to care for each child each shift. Nursing staff are highly experienced and available to discuss any concerns that parents may have at any time during the hospital stay. The hospital patient representative is also available.

The admitted child will share a room with other children unless he/she requires a single room, as determined by medical/nursing staff. If a child requires an isolation room then we ask that the child remain in this room for his/her hospital stay, depending on the reason for isolation. It is also advisable in these circumstances that visitors are limited.

Preventing the spread of infection is of the highest priority. All parents and visitors of all patients are advised to practise hand hygiene, including the use of DeBug (a cleansing liquid provided in the wards that you use to clean hands).

What children and parents may need

  • Comfort toys, dummy, blanket
  • Own bottle, teats (the Paediatrics ward has a supply of these)
  • Nappies: the Paediatrics ward can provide some nappies, but you will also need to bring in your own supply of disposable nappies.
  • Own pillow, doona if preferred

Parents and children are discouraged from bringing in valuables, as staff cannot be held responsible for any lost or stolen items.

Medical rounds

Doctors’ rounds may start as early as 8.30am. During this time the doctor will review the child. If parents wish to speak to the doctor this is a good time. If parents have been unable to speak to the doctor, please alert nursing staff.

Staying with your child

Ward 2 West believes in family-centred care, therefore parents are encouraged to stay with their child to minimise emotional stress. We do, however, completely understand that this is not always possible.

Due to space limitations, it is possible for only one parent to stay overnight. If a parent is unable to stay, a grandparent, uncle, aunt or sibling over 18 years of age may do so. We do ask that people staying overnight be correctly attired. Armchairs beside each patient bed convert into overnight beds. (Please do not use children’s beds or cots). Please do not attempt to move these chairs as they mark the floor and are very heavy! We ask that all parents’ beds are folded up by 8:00–8:30am (linen to be stored in bedside cupboard) each morning to allow for doctor’ rounds and cleaning of rooms.

Nursing staff are here to provide total care for your child and we encourage parents to assist in this care – but it is important to us that parents have regular breaks and take time to care for themselves.

Visiting hours

General visiting hours for extended family and friends are between the hours of 8am and 8pm. For the purposes of settling children and carrying out care these times must be strictly adhered to. Please speak to nursing staff should special circumstances arise.

Parents' room and facilities

A parents’ room is available on the ward with tea/coffee making facilities, a refrigerator and toaster. For safety reasons, no children are allowed in the parents' room. Food may be brought in from home and stored in the refrigerator (please ensure your food is clearly labelled). Hospital meals will be provided for mothers of exclusively breastfed babies. Meals are also available for purchase from the cafes on level one.

The Austin Hospital is a smoke-free zone and therefore smoking is not permitted anywhere within the building or grounds.

From Feburary 2015 until July 2016, the paediatric emergency department will be co located on 2 west, and the parents room will not be available. Provision to make tea and coffee will be available in the ward kitchen.

Children's meals and mealtimes

Your child’s meals will be provided. Menus are available and our dietitian is also available to assist if required.

Meal times:
  • Breakfast: 8am
  • Lunch: 12:30pm
  • Dinner: 5:30pm

Telephones

Telephones are available at each bedside to receive calls but to make calls a phone card must be purchased from vending machines on Level 3 of the Austin Hospital Tower. People wishing to call and speak with patients and parents must call the hospital number on  (03) 9496 5500, as direct numbers cannot be given out. Mobile phones must be turned off at all times in the general ward area but can be used by parents in the parents’ room.

Entertainment

Each bedside has a television for patients’ use. There is also a selection of  DVDs available.

Televisions are to be turned off at 8pm for younger children and 9.30pm for teenagers.

The ward has a playroom equipped with games, toys and reading material.

Schoolroom

A schoolroom is situated on the ward next door to our playroom. Our schoolteacher Bev is happy to provide bedside schooling activities for those children unable to attend the schoolroom. Bev is also more than happy to liase with your child’s own school teachers.

Cultural requirements

Please advise nursing staff of any cultural requirements you may have. A multi-faith room is available for prayer and is situated on the same level as the Paediatric Ward.

Parking

Subsidised hospital parking is available (cost subject to change) per day, these  rates can apply for patients and next of kin who meet the eligibility criteria.