Visiting hospital for the first time can be a daunting experience for anyone – especially children. To make it a little less scary we recently took part in a Hospital Familiarisation Program – an educational program run by the Association for the Wellbeing of Children in Healthcare (AWCH).

Nurse Clair visited the Kindy with “Katie” – her child-size (rag doll patient). Together they talked about some of the reasons why children might have to go to hospital, different ways that they might get there, and what actually goes on inside hospitals once patients arrive.

A few willing patients stepped up to demonstrate what doctors and nurses do. Blood pressure was checked; we listened to healthy beating hearts; temperature was checked; and “Katie” had a drip put in her arm. The highlight – as you can imagine – was dressing up as doctors, nurses and patients to put some new skills to the test. Heads were bandaged, band-aids were applied and everyone took turns using crutches and riding in the wheelchair.

It was a fun morning, and it forms an important part of our kindergarten curriculum each year. Hopefully, none of the children will be visiting hospital anytime soon – but if they do at least they will be a little more prepared, and a little less scared.

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