Visit to make hospital stay less daunting

GOING behind the scenes at Auburn Hospital, four-year-old Avah Laughlin discovered that surgical rubber gloves also make great balloons.

With her grandparents in tow, the pre-surgery visit came ahead of having her tonsils removed in a couple of weeks and was arranged to celebrate National Perioperative Nurses Week which recognises the highly-skilled nurses who help patients before, during and after surgery.
The tour was aimed at making the youngster’s hospital stay less daunting and Auburn Hospital perioperative nurse manager Mia Shui said it was great to see surgical staff win their young patient’s trust.
“At first she was naturally quite shy and hiding behind her grandpa, but by the end of the tour she totally opened up and had a big smile on her face,” Ms Shui said.

“She got to play with a mask and we inflated a glove to make a balloon. Now when she comes back for her operation, she won’t be frightened by the people dressed in blue wearing masks.”
Australian Catholic University nursing students also had their own hands-on tour of the operating theatres at Auburn Hospital, getting the full experience of donning gowns and masks for a mock caesarean section.
Westmead Hospital perioperative services senior nurse manager Lee-Ann McDonald said theatre nursing included several rewarding roles that required a unique set of skills.
“The surgery can’t happen unless the patient is prepared correctly,” she said.
“Then while the procedure is underway, the patient usually can’t speak for themselves so the nurse is their advocate.”