I work on Ward C2 with children who have cancer or blood disorders. We set up the playroom and visit each child in the morning to find out what their day looks like to see when there is an opportunity to engage them in play. We will bring toys to play with them or do a crafty activity or see if they want to spend time in the playroom. We also have a room for teenagers and those who are over 12 years old can visit the room by themselves; they often want to talk to their friends on the phone.
Play can be very normalising for a patient. We are called the ‘purple ladies’ due to the colour of the polo shirts we wear and often patients are very happy to see us. But some children don’t want to talk to us, some are in shock after their diagnosis and want to put up barriers. We try to build up a relationship with a child as we know it can have a huge impact for their recovery. We also support parents and can offer them respite when they need to have meetings with doctors or time away from the ward.
After they have left CUH, some parents have got in touch to say they couldn’t have got through their experience without the team of staff on C2.Amanda
A lot of them want to give something back and we are very lucky with donations.
Some of my friends and family have asked me how I can work with children who are really unwell. Sadly the care for some children can turn palliative when they are with us. All of us have a preference for how we are told bad news about a patient and if this happens when I’m not at work, I like to be told before I come back in. This gives me time to process a child’s passing before I’m back on the ward. I still think of certain children I have been involved in the care of years later, they will just pop into my head sometimes.
I am really proud of my role as a nursery nurse at CUH. I aim to make a child happy even if it’s for a very brief time during their treatment.Amanda