During your child’s stay

MCH_ChildLifeTherapy2
Your child's care

Your child’s ward 

Monash Children’s Hospital is the second largest paediatric referral centre serving South Eastern Victoria. In the last year over 13,000 children were admitted to the paediatric wards in which your child will be staying.

During your child’s stay at Monash Children’s Hospital he/she will be situated at one of four paediatric wards within Monash Health, located at either the Clayton, Dandenong or Casey site.

Your child’s healthcare team 

Your healthcare team at Monash Children’s Hospital is comprised of a number of healthcare professionals who are dedicated to ensuring your child’s treatment and stay is as comfortable as possible.

Nurse Unit Manager: The Nurse Unit Manager is responsible for the ward and the staff who work within it. He/she is available for you to consult if you have any questions, concerns or praise for staff about the care provided to your child throughout your admission.

Medical and nursing staff: While a patient of the Monash Children’s Hospital, your child will be treated by a number of doctors and nurses who provide specialist care in relation to your child’s needs. Each day he/she will be visited by one or more of the team to discuss current treatments and future care.

Allied Health staff and Chaplains: Monash Health provides a range of Allied Health services to assist in your child’s recovery. These include Social Work, Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech Pathology, Music Therapy, Podiatry and Diabetes Education. Referrals will be made through your nurse or medical team as necessary. Chaplains of different faiths are also available, please ask your nurse for details.

How we communicate with you and your family 

We have communication whiteboards that are updated daily by nursing and medical staff to keep you updated with your child’s treatment. Parents/carers and patients are also encouraged to use these boards to make note of any updates or questions for staff to address.

We also conduct consultant ward rounds, medical rounds and interactive bedside handovers at the change of each shift, which is the most effective time for parents to communicate with their child’s bedside nurses and ask any questions.

Call bells are also used to alert staff that a patient and/or family member requires assistance. Buttons are located beside each patient bed. When pressed, a nurse will come to assist you as needed.

Your child’s wellbeing 

Child Life and Creative Arts Therapy provide a variety of services to support the emotional health and wellbeing of children aged from infants to 18 years old during their stay at Monash Children’s Hospital.

Child Life Therapists assist children with coping with the experiences they may face during their stay in hospital, such as medical procedures, diagnostic procedures and surgery, by addressing their fears through education and planning strategies for comfort and wellbeing.

Prior to a procedure, a Child Life Therapist can spend time with your child explaining the procedure through demonstration with age and developmentally appropriate equipment (medical dolls, pictures, etc.). This works toward decreasing your child’s anxiety relating to the procedure. Child Life Therapy can also provide distraction equipment (toys, books, puzzles, games etc.) that are developmentally appropriate and interest-based for your child (infants to adolescents).

Child Life Therapy is currently available Monday to Friday, 8.30am-5pm at Clayton and Monday to Friday, 8am-12pm at Dandenong. For support at Casey please speak to your nursing team.

Art Therapy provides older patients with creative experiences for enjoyment and distraction. Patient sessions (both group and one-on-one) offer opportunities for more formal art therapy where patients explore the health journey towards wellbeing. Services are available Monday to Friday, 8.30am-5pm at Clayton.

To speak with a Child Life or Creative Arts Therapist for further information, please call (03) 9594 6951.

Surgery

Please refer to the Your child’s surgery section for detailed information on this process.

Food and drink

Your child’s meals 

Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be provided to your child during his/her stay. Snacks and drinks are also available throughout the day for children.

Your child will be given a menu card for the following day’s meals. We ask that you complete the card on behalf of your child and place the completed menu on your bedside table or hand it to your nurse.

Monash Children’s Hospital aims to provide a variety of meals and cater for all dietary requirements. If your child has such needs please notify your nurse.

For children under 12 months of age, we provide a special menu which is a choice of mashed, pureed and minced food.

You may also wish to bring food from home. Please speak the nursing staff about labelling your food and kitchen facilities.

Formula 

If your child is on formula please let the staff know on admission so that we can order the formula for you. Some less common formulas may not be available, and you will need to supply your own.

Please ask the nursing staff about the ward’s processes in place and utensils provided for preparing your child’s formula.

Breastfed babies 

Three meals per day will be provided to mothers who are breast feeding. If you need to express your breast milk, please ask our nursing staff for the equipment required.

Education

School teacher 

For our school-age patients, a teacher is available to provide work and assist with school studies.

Our teacher liaises with your child’s school to enable patients to maintain their progress in the classroom if he/she is hospitalised for a long period of time.

A virtual classroom facility with computer and internet access is also provided under the direct supervision of the teacher.

Entertainment

Patient entertainment 

Each bedside is equipped with a television and a telephone. The telephone connection is available at daily rate. Please ask the nursing staff for more information.

Mobile phones may be used on the ward during visiting hours. Please be mindful to turn them off or switch them to silent during rest periods and at night time to ensure children are allowed to rest.

Portable DVD players are also available for use while on the ward. There is a large selection of DVDs to choose from. Please ask the nursing staff for more information.

Wi-Fi 

Free Wi-Fi is available to patients across all Monash Children’s Hospital sites. To connect, select the Monash Health Patient Wi-Fi network and accept the terms and conditions.

Playroom and children’s activities

Playrooms are located at the Clayton, Dandenong and Casey sites, in which there are a variety of toys and activities for both patients and their siblings to participate in.

Opening hours:
Clayton: Monday to Sunday, 8.45am-3.45pm
Casey: Monday to Sunday, 8am-5pm
Dandenong: Monday to Sunday, 8am-5pm

Playroom activities available to your child at Clayton include:

Music Therapy Group: A music group for our younger patients and family members provided by our music therapist. Instruments, songs and music games are suited to the age of those attending. Available on Wednesdays at 10.15-11.15am.

Art and Play Program: Our visiting pre-school teacher provides a range of special art and play activities for children aged two to 10 years old. Available on Wednesdays at 11am-12pm.

Radio Lollipop: A program that provides craft and games for patients both at the bedside and in the playroom. Available on Mondays and Wednesdays, 6-7.30pm and Saturdays, 9.30–11am.

Art studio: The art studio is available to patients aged eight to 18 years old and provides a range of art and creative activities suitable to older patients. The studio is run by art therapists and is open weekdays from 8.45am-4pm. Please note that it may be closed at times for private patient sessions.

Clown doctors: Clown doctors are provided to the Monash Children’s Hospital by the Humour Foundation and give bedside entertainment and distraction for patients. Clown doctors visit on Thursdays from 10am-3pm.

Pet Therapy: Pet Therapy Dogs and their carers (Lort Smith volunteers) visit patients on Mondays and Thursdays from 10.30am-12.30pm to offer comfort and distraction. Dogs are pre-checked as being both healthy and suitable for visiting children.

Please note that food and drink is not permitted in the playroom or art studio. This is to help prevent fasting children from accidentally eating or drinking anything prior to surgery.

Children under the age of five need to be supervised by a parent or carer.

Please check with your child’s nurse to ensure he/she is able to utilise the play room. For those children who may not be able to use the play room, there are toys available for your child to play with inside their room. These can be provided by a nurse, volunteer or Child Life Therapist. Toys can be exchanged via volunteer staff and all equipment is cleaned after use. Please do not share your child’s toys with other children.

Starlight Children’s Foundation
The Starlight Room is available at Monash Medical Centre to offer additional entertainment for your child. Within the starlight room, Captain Starlight will entertain the children with movies, video games, board games and magic tricks. Please check with your child’s nurse to ensure your child is able to use the Starlight Room.

Looking after parents and carers

Monash Children’s Hospital has a variety of services available to help make your stay during your child’s visit as comfortable as possible.

Parent meals
For those mothers who are not breastfeeding or fathers staying overnight with their children, meals can brought in from home, ordered and delivered to the ward (ask your nurse about this process) or brought from the café specific to your Monash Children’s Hospital site.

Unfortunately we are unable to provide parent meals free of charge. Meals can also be purchased through the hospital kitchen, which you can select from the daily menu and will be delivered on the tray with your child’s meals.

Parent beds
The paediatric ward at Monash Children’s Hospital is only able to provide sleeping facilities for one parent to stay overnight with their child. The hospital will provide a single sofa bed, which can be set up beside the child’s bed/cot.

Linen will be provided for the duration of your stay. In the mornings, please pack up your bed by 8am and store your linen neatly in the spaces provided .

For some parents, Ronald McDonald House (Monash) accommodation is available for a nominal fee. Please speak to one of our staff for more information on how to access this service.

Please note that parent beds for Monash Newborn patients are not currently available at Clayton. Limited parent beds are currently available at Casey and Dandenong.

Hospital facilities and services

ATM: There are ATMs located across Clayton, Dandenong and Casey Monash Children’s Hospital sites for your use. Please ask staff for more information.

Coffee: Zouki Café is located at Clayton, Dandenong and Casey Monash Children’s Hospital sites, where you can purchase barista-made coffee, as well as meals and snacks.

Opening hours:
Clayton: Monday to Friday, 6am-10pm and Saturday to Sunday, 6am-8pm
Dandenong: Monday to Friday, 6.30am-8pm and Saturday to Sunday, 7.30am-7.30pm
Casey: Monday to Friday, 7am-6pm and Saturday, 8am -2pm

Gift shop: Zouki Convenience Store is located at Clayton, Dandenong and Casey Monash Children’s Hospital sites, where you can purchase gifts and gift wrapping for patients, as well as newspapers, magazines, postage stamps and even a dry cleaning service.

Opening hours:
Clayton: Monday to Saturday, 7am-8pm and Sunday, 7am-7pm
Dandenong: Monday to Friday, 6.30am-8pm and Saturday to Sunday, 7.30am-7.30pm
Casey: Monday to Sunday, 9am-8pm

Ronald McDonald House Monash: Ronald McDonald House Monash works to enhance the quality of life for you whilst caring for your child at Monash Children’s Hospital (Clayton), by providing a home-away-from-home that is welcoming, caring and supportive. The house caters for families who live in rural and remote Victoria.

The house is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year and can accommodate 15 families each and every night.

Ronald McDonald Family Room: There is a room for all parents of paediatric inpatients to go for a break whilst their child is in hospital. The room includes lounge areas with televisions, showering, laundry and kitchen facilities, and computer and Wi-Fi access.

Location: Level 4, Monash Children’s Hospital (Clayton)
Operating hours: Monday to Friday, 7.30am-9.30pm and Saturday to Sunday, 7.30am-6pm.
Contact: Judi Scott, phone: (03) 9562 6223, email: judi_scott@rmhmonash.org.au

This service is available at Clayton.

Interpreter services: We offer interpreter services by booking a phone or face-to-face meeting with an interpreter. Please ask the hospital staff for more information.

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