The Hospital Familiarisation Program (HFP)
Statistics reveal that a significant number of children experience hospitalisation unexpectedly. It is generally accepted that hospitalisation and medical intervention can have immediate and/or long lasting psychological effects. These include eating disorders, sleep disorders, interaction and relationship difficulties and erratic control of bodily functions, both during and after hospitalisation. Children may also experience tiredness, withdrawal, depression, aggression and phobias.
To meet the needs of children who experience the trauma of unplanned hospitalisation, preventative measures have been taken by the Association for the Welfare of Children in Hospital WA (Inc) (AWCH WA). In 1983, AWCH WA developed the Hospital Familiarisation Program (HFP) designed to prepare young healthy children for possible hospitalisation or visits to the doctor or dentist. The aim is to minimise anxiety, fear and misconceptions children may have about medical intervention.
Trained presenters provide the HFP, on request, to children in the early childhood settings of Child Care Centres, Kindergarten, PrePrimary, and Years 1, 2 and 3 of primary school and presented as an integral part of their ongoing educational programs.
The HFP consists of three parts
Firstly, there is a group session where children participate in discussion about their own hospital experiences and are shown various items of medical equipment. The presenter asks open- ended questions such as: “Why did you have to go to hospital?” and “Who can tell me what this instrument is used for?”
The second component of the HFP consists of the viewing of a video in which a child is admitted to hospital and taken through the usual procedures of hospitalisation such as anaesthesia and surgery.
Thirdly, free play is provided where children are given the opportunity to dress up as doctors, nurses, surgeons and ambulance drivers, while others act out being the patients. The emphasis is on learning through dramatic play, which allows children to learn at an individual pace and direction. Story books about hospitalisation, jigsaw puzzles, board games and hospital dolls houses are an integral part of this session.
LINKS TO CURRICULUM DOCUMENTS
Our program links to both the Australian Curriculum and the Early Years Learning Framework, supporting learning across curriculum areas and outcomes. Click here for the document.
The cost of a 2 hour program is $130 for one session or $230 for two sessions over the same day with a maximum of 30 children per session.
The costs for a 1.5 hour day care program are the same as above.
AWCH is GST exempt.
Please visit the Bookings page for more information.