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VGH pediatric unit opens information centre for parents

Victoria General Hospital’s pediatric unit is becoming more parent friendly with its new patient and parent information centre.

Fourth year University of Victoria nursing students Ali Nikolejsin and Lindsay Erikson spearheaded the project as a part of their practicum with the pediatric unit.

When they arrived, there was no area for parents to get informational pamphlets and brochures on the unit itself, so the students set to work.

“It’s all health and wellness related,” Nikolejsin said. “It’s not disease focused, it’s to help get parents and families ... back to their original and healthy state.”

The centre is a corner display featuring pamphlets and brochures. Informational DVDs and activity booklets will also be available, all for parents with children admitted to the unit.

Erikson donated original artwork to the unit for the project, which now hangs above the information centre as you enter the unit.

“Just to brighten up times for kids that are sick,” Erikson said. “Bring a smile to their faces.”

The pediatric unit has 20 beds and five pediatric intensive care units for children up to the age of 17. The unit is the children’s tertiary care unit for all of Vancouver Island.

Financing for the project, about $2,000, came from the Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island, Tru Value Foods and Arbour Counselling Centre.

Twins Samantha and Jocelyn Sifert, 11, cut the ribbon to mark the opening of the centre. They have spent a lot of time in the unit, as both were diagnosed with Graves’ disease, diabetes and later with celiac disease.

Gerda Etherington, clinical co-ordinator, said the centre provides an avenue for parents to find out information at any time and on a variety of issues. She said it’s important for the parents to be involved in their child’s health care and to be informed.

“We practice family-centred care as much as we can here,” Etherington said. “The parents know their child the best, they know what’s going on.”

The information provided at the centre also allows parents to get information anonymously on a range of potentially sensitive issues, such as what to do if your child is using drugs or if they are being bullied.

 

kwells@goldstreamgazette.com

 

 

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