Children's Ward FAQs

Children's Ward FAQs

Commitment to child safety

Our commitment to child safety

Bendigo Health is committed to the safety and wellbeing of all children. We support and respect all children, our staff and volunteers.  We want them to feel safe, happy and empowered.   We have a zero tolerance of child abuse. All allegations and safety concerns will be treated very seriously in line with our policies and procedures.

Bendigo Health is committed to preventing child abuse and identifying risks early, and removing and reducing these risks. We have mandatory legal as well as a moral duty to contact authorities when we are worried about a child’s safety.

We are committed to the cultural safety of Aboriginal children, children from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds, children who identify with LGBTQIA+ community and to providing a safe environment for children with a disability.

Bendigo Health is committed to regularly training and educating our board members, staff and volunteers on the safety and wellbeing of all children connected with our organisation.

Preparing for Surgery

The operation

At the Anaesthetists/patients discretion you are encouraged to stay with your child while he/she goes to sleep (have an anaesthetic) before their surgery. You will have a gown, hat and shoe covers to wear whilst in the Theatre department for Infection control reasons. If your child is placed to sleep with an Anaesthetic gas this can smell strange and your child may become restless, this is all normal. You will then be ushered from the Theatre by Theatre staff and return to the Children’s Ward.

Once the procedure is completed, your child will be taken to Postanesthetic Care Unit (PACU or Recovery Room) where nurses will look after your child. When your child wakes up, he or she is likely to be confused and may cry for a short time, this can be due to the anaesthetic, hunger, pain, nausea and unfamiliar environment..

Once your child has woken and breathing by themselves, you will be able to sit with your child. Please remember that your child may feel dizzy and a bit sick. They may also experience a minor sore throat or hoarse voice,(from the breathing tube). The nurses will keep a close watch on your child during this time and will welcome any questions you may have. If at any time you are feeling unwell whilst with your child, please notify the PACU nursing staff.

Photography, video calls and video recordings are NOT permitted whilst in PACU for patient confidentiality. You may be asked to turn off your mobile phone whilst in PACU.

Preparing for your child’s stay

Your child's stay

We want to share with you what paediatric healthcare professionals have learned over the years on what you can do to prepare your child for their hospital stay. You will learn about the various ways to prepare your child and his or her siblings for the upcoming stay, and the possible emotional reactions your child may express.

Tell your child honestly and truthfully why they need to come to hospital. The following are some general guidelines by age group on how to prepare your child for a stay at the hospital. Please keep in mind that each child is different, and your child’s capacity for understanding a hospital stay will be affected by many factors, such as developmental stage and personality.

Ages 0-2

It is difficult to prepare infants and toddlers for a hospital visit. Talk with your toddler the day before the visit. Children at this age like to see their parents nearby, and they like to be held. The Hospital will give you every opportunity possible to be with your child.

Ages 3-6

Three- to six-year-olds need more time to absorb information. Speak with your child a few days before the hospital stay. Children at this age are very concerned about being separated from their parents, so it is important for you to reassure your child that you will be available to help as much as possible.

Depending on the age of your child, give them plenty of time for ‘hospital play’.

You can get them to do things like bandaging a teddy, listening to family members’ heartbeats, practising taking medicine.

Read books together about going to hospital. Your local library, school, kindergarten or child care centre may be able to help.

Be prepared for your child to ask the same questions several times. Each time you answer them, they will be absorbing a little more information, as well as getting reassurance from you.

Ages 7-12

School-age children love to ask questions, so encourage them to do so. Begin discussing the hospital stay a week or so before the admission, and be honest with your child about what to expect. Try to engage your child in the plan­ning process as much as possible.

Ages 13-17

Teenagers must be treated with respect. They don’t like to be kept in the dark and should be part of the conversation about a Hospital stay from the beginning. Of all children, teenagers are best able to understand what will hap­pen in the Hospital and express their concerns. Encourage your teenager to ask questions and talk with his or her doctors and nurses, but keep in mind that he or she may want some privacy.

Commonly asked questions

What do I need to bring?

Favourite doll, blanket, teddy or other comfort item. A favourite activity, game or new toy especially for hospital. Toiletries, pyjamas and comfortable clothes. You are welcome to bring photos of family members and pets at home. 

When are the visiting hours?

For the latest visitor advice click here.

When do I need to fast my child for surgery?

Doctors and Nurses will be able to advise you or refer to operation information provided by the hospital.

Childrens Ward Patient and Visitor Guide

Parent/Carer’s Code of Conduct

Code of Conduct

We welcome and encourage you to stay with your child during their hospital stay.

Your presence during the hospital stay must not impede the care of the child or the care of another patient

• Nursing and housekeeping routines will not be delayed, e.g... to allow parent’s/carer’s to sleep in

• Please keep your child’s room tidy and free from clutter to allow ease of access for your child’s treating team

• Refrain from offensive, insulting or derogatory language or conduct. This includes wearing clothing with offensive words or insignias

You may not:

• attend the ward if affected by alcohol or other intoxicants;

• possess alcohol or illicit drugs;

• take a photo or video recording of another patient or parent without their consent;

• take a photo or video recording of staff;

• You have the right to raise issues and concerns related to the care of their child and these should be directed to the Nurse in Charge or Nurse Unit Manager

• Children’s Ward can only cater for ONE parent/carer to stay overnight, unless otherwise negotiate

• Sleeping unclothed is unacceptable. Appropriate attire is to be worn at all times

• A single sofa bed is provided by each patient bed

• You must pack up their own bed as soon as is practicable each morning

• Siblings under the age of 18 are not permitted to stay overnight

• If you choose to stay with your child, a beverage bay is available and a light breakfast will be provided- unless otherwise negotiated

• Breast feeding mothers will be supplied all meals, other Parent’s/Carers can access the cafés in the hospital atrium on the ground floor during operating hours.

Do as much as you feel comfortable with in caring for your child. Helping to shower/bath, feed, cuddle and play with your child on the ward, as well as going with them for medical procedures, tests or treatments.