New children’s unit coming to casualty

This Is Wiltshire: A & E Sister Claire Gordon A & E Sister Claire Gordon

n NURSES play a key role in the running of the hospital’s Emergency Department and they have had an important say on the refurbishment of the department, including the colour scheme.

Work began two weeks ago to transform the ED and create a dedicated children’s unit, and so far there has been little impact on the everyday running of the department.

The nurses though will play a key role in making sure patients are informed of what is going on and keep disruption to a minimum.

They, along with the other staff who work in the department, are looking forward to seeing the plans come to fruition and think it will have a big impact, especially for the younger patients they see.

Sister Claire Gordon, who is a dual trained children’s nurse, said that everyone has been waiting a long time for this refurbishment to happen.

She said: “We look after children but we haven’t got anything that is child friendly or any of the distraction techniques that we do have on the children’s ward.

“Normally, for example, when you are taking blood from a child you would have pictures up or toys to entertain them with so they are not thinking of the horrible thing they are having done.

“So being in a purpose built building with all the things that we need will be lovely. It is something that has been a long time coming and everyone is excited about it finally happening.

“With regards to the building works so far it has all been pretty minimal. It has been kept quite quiet.

“We have got lots of signs up anyway but if there is noise you tend to let the patients know what is going on.”

Working with children is very different to working with adults which is why the nurses in particular are so keen to see an area where children will be seen to and treated in a safe environment.

Best practice from other hospitals as well as feedback from staff and patients have all been considered in the new design.

Claire said she hopes that it will create a better environment for patients and staff alike.

She said: “Lots of things were put forward from a nurses point of view and most of them were practical things like making sure there are cupboards where you can put equipment you need so it is at hand.

“We did a lot around the productive ward within the department to do with cutting down nursing miles so you don’t walk a long way to get something that you could have in a much more convenient place.

“We also had lots of discussions around very girly things like the colour because we have had a couple of mishaps with having very bright walls that just didn’t have the right feel to the department for the patients.

“I think the thing that everybody is looking forward to is having a proper place where firstly children are safe. They are not going to have drunk or loud patients or patients who are swearing which is scary for them. It is having them in a place which is completely child friendly and they can be children and be looked after in the best possible way.

“Parents who come in are anxious about their child anyway and then to add somebody shouting and swearing just adds to that.”

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