The paediatric phlebotomy department at Heartlands Hospital helped soothe the fears and concerns of some of its youngest patients recently, when it opened its doors to kids from Alston Primary School in Birmingham.
The aim of the trip was to highlight the fact that hospitals are not a scary place to visit, as many children find the idea of having a blood test to be an upsetting experience. To demonstrate this, the three and four-year-old schoolchildren watched a live and simulated clinic of other children and adults having simple finger-prick blood samples taken and the Heartlands team answered any questions they had.
Raakhee Ramaiya, a nursery teacher at Alston Primary School, said: “Our children were enriched with knowledge and confidence after their visit to Heartlands Hospital. They were all taught about how the blood clinic runs, why blood needs to be taken to find out what’s happening in the body and why they don’t need to be scared to go to hospitals. The children were also able to talk about their experience to a local GP who came to visit us.”
Trudy Mullard, supervisor for the paediatric phlebotomy department at Heartlands Hospital, added: “The school trip was a fantastic way of helping the kids overcome any fears they might have about getting a blood test. One parent commented that her daughter had been very frightened to attend the visit, after a recent operation had left her with a fear of hospitals. She is no longer afraid following the trip to our department.”
Other nurseries or primary schools interested in arranging a similar visit should contact community engagement project manager Mona Campbell on 0121 424 9125 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.