Your visit to hospital
Coming to hospital can seem strange and a bit scary. It is much bigger and busier than home.
There’s lots of information here to help you know what to expect.
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Coming for an appointment
When you visit us for an appointment, you will be an outpatient or day case patient. This means that you don’t need to stay in hospital for the night.
You and your parents or carers will tell someone that you have arrived at hospital. Then you may need to wait to see a doctor, nurse or another member of the Evelina London team.
While you wait, you can play, read or watch TV.
At your appointment, the nurse may:
- weigh you to see how heavy you are
- measure you to see how tall you are
- listen to your heart
- check your temperature.
You may also need some other tests. Your nurse will tell you about them.
When you see the doctor, they will ask you and your parents or carers how you are feeling. You can ask any questions you may have. They may want to look at a part of your body that isn't working as well as it should be.
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Coming to stay
If you are coming to Evelina London to stay the night, you will be an inpatient.
You and your parents or carers will tell someone that you have arrived. They will tell you where to go.
During your stay, you may need to see doctors, nurses and other hospital staff.
Everyone you meet will tell you who they are and what they do.
When you arrive, a nurse will show you where to go and tell you what will be happening that day. You can ask any questions you may have.
Are you coming for an operation? Watch our film about what will happen on the day.
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Your place (where you're staying)
You will stay on one of our wards. You might have your own room or you might share a small area with other children like you.
You will have a bed with a cupboard next to it to keep your things in. The bed will have curtains that you can pull round if you want to have some time alone. We will ask you to keep the curtains open at night, so that we can see that you are ok.
At your bed, you will have a TV, radio and phone. You will also have a light and a special button to press if you need the nurse to come and help you.
Your parents or carers can stay with you at any time. In fact, they may have a bed right next to yours or in a room close by. Friends and family can visit until 8pm every evening.
Close to your bed, there will be a toilet and a bathroom. There is also a play area on every ward. During the week, there will be a play specialist in the play area. A nurse will show you where the nearest ones are.
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Food and drink
At Evelina London, our chefs make fresh, yummy food every day. It might be a bit different to the food you eat at home, but we will try to find something that you really like.
Here are some of our patients talking about what the food is like:
Breakfast comes round on a trolley at around 8am. There’s cereal, toast, fruit and yoghurts. You can choose what you would like.
Every day, we will give you a menu so that you can choose what you would like to eat for lunch and dinner.
Lunch is at around 12 noon and dinner at about 5pm.
If you get hungry between meals or can’t find anything you like on the menu, just tell a nurse who will try to get you a snack or a different meal.
If there is a fridge on your ward, your parent or carer can bring you a few snacks and drinks to keep in the fridge.
There is also a café on Ocean level and a juice bar on Beach level. There are also other shops and cafes in St Thomas' Hospital just next door where you can get food, drinks and magazines.
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Who you might meet
There are lots of people you might meet at Evelina London – see how many you can spot during your visit.
they are specially trained to look after children who come to the hospital. You may see a doctor who is an expert in a certain kind of problem with the body.
Nurses are also specially trained to look after children. They will check to see how you are feeling and help you if you need anything.
Different nurses wear different coloured uniforms. Which ones have you seen?
are in charge of lots of different wards and departments and wear purple uniforms.
Sisters and charge nurses:
they manage wards or departments and wear dark blue uniforms.
Clinical nurse specialists:
are experts in particular illnesses and wear dark grey uniforms.
work on wards and departments and wear light blue uniforms.
You might also see nurses wearing scrubs like these. This is because they work in theatres or surgical areas.
they help the nurse to look after you by doing things like helping you get washed and dressed if needed. They wear light grey uniforms.
Occupational therapists: it can be difficult to get back to normal after being ill. Occupational therapists help you get used to doing everyday things again, like getting dressed, or doing your schoolwork.
they get any medicine you need ready for you.
Phlebotomists: they may take a little bit of your blood for us to test. They will make sure that you are as comfortable as possible while they take any blood.
Physiotherapists: they know all about how our bodies work and help us to move and keep active.
they help you to understand what is happening to you and can give you some fun things to do while you are in hospital.
they use special machines to take pictures of the inside of your body, to help us work out what's going on.
Speech and language therapists: you might see a speech and language therapist if you have problems talking or swallowing. They can help you with understanding language, speaking, eating and drinking.
they carry out operations. If you're having an operation at Evelina London, you might meet a surgeon.
Anaesthetists: they put you to sleep when you have an operation and look after you during your surgery. They'll also wake you up after and make sure you're comfortable.
they help to make sure the hospital is clean.
Patient service assistants:
they help the nurses look after you, by doing things such as serving meals and making beds.
they take you from place to place in the hospital if you need help getting around.
they greet you when you arrive. They are usually the first people you see at Evelina London.
they help keep Evelina London safe.
they help out at the hospital. They do things like show families where to go when they come and visit, or keep you company while you're waiting.
they make sure our wards and departments run smoothly.
School staff: they are teachers who you might see in the hospital school.
Students: student doctors, nurses and other staff learn about how to care for children at Evelina London. Sometimes, your doctor or nurse may ask if it is ok for a student to stay in the room during your appointment. Please tell us if you don’t feel comfortable about this.