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Home Crumlin Hospital St Brigids Wards Medical Stuff Hospital Life The Cardiac Team Your Heart Tests & Operations Interactive Quiz

Here we are going to tell you all about life in hospital to help you get yourself ready and to let you know what you can expect while you are staying on St. Brigids Ward. Click on each of the sections below to find out more.

Check out the Real Life Stories section at the bottom where Cormac has told the story of his visits to hospital since he was a baby. Click on it to read about him.

Getting Ready

When preparing to come into hospital, be sure to pack all you'll need. Think about clothes that you will need for the daytime and at night. It can be very warm in the hospital, sometimes warm enough to wear a t-shirt in winter!

Don't forget your washing bag (tooth brush and toothpaste) and anything you need every day .You might also want to pack computer games, a personal stereo or mp3 player, books and magazines and you can even bring in some pictures from home. If you're going to be in hospital for more than a week, you'll also need to bring your schoolwork with you.

Do's and Don`t's and Things to Know

Make sure you wear your slippers/shoes when you are on the ward.

It's important that you brush your teeth, shower and change your clothes just like you do at home.

Take care of your important things...make sure you put them in a safe place.

The Healthcare Assistant will bring your food to your bed everyday; breakfast, dinner and tea.

If you have any questions or worries make sure to ask your nurse or your play specialist.

There is a playroom on the ward where there is lots of fun things to do and plenty of other children to play with.

The nurses are always there on the ward during the day and at night to look after you.

Make sure you turn off the TV and the light in your room around 9.00pm before going to sleep.

Please leave your curtains opened so that the nurse can see you

If you are in isolation this means that you must stay in your room as you may give your bugs to other patients. The play specialist can come into your room and give you toys and arts and crafts things to do, so don't worry you won't get bored!

You can watch a DVD in your room, so make sure to bring in some of your favourite movies from home!

You must not leave the ward unless you are with your parents/guardian and you have told your nurse.

Where can parents/guardians stay?

They can stay in the hospital with you in the parents/guardian accommodation unit, which is on the second floor and they can reach it by the stairwell near the canteen. The hospital also has a Ronald McDonald House where your brothers and sisters and parents/guardian can stay if you live very far away.

If you would like your parents/guardian to stay with you on the ward, they can by using a fold- up mattress which they can get from parents/Guardian accommodation. They must bring their own sleeping bag, pillow, etc.


When you are in hospital your family and friends are allowed to visit you at anytime. But if you are in isolation your visitors will have to be limited to just family.

The Hospital Shop

The shop is located on the ground floor near the admissions office. There are lots of items sold including daily papers, magazines, sweets, fruit and toys.


If you would like your friends/family to write you a letter while your are staying in hospital they can. Just make sure it is addressed clearly.

Your name, name of the ward
Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin
Dublin 12.

Hospital Food

Everyone gets used to the hospital food they eat every day. Most people have favourite foods they eat at home or at school. So when you go into hospital meal time can seem a bit different.

Breakfast usually comes at around 8 -8.30am, Dinner at around 12 midday and Tea at around 4.30pm. You can choose from a special menu card each day (including snacks) which the Health Care Assistant will help you fill out.

Going to School

If you are between the ages of 4 and 18 years, you are very welcome to attend

We have a classroom with a wide range of textbooks, so don’t worry if you have left your school bag at home. We also have computers and art materials.

If you are not well enough to come to the classroom the teacher will come to you at your bedside. We look forward to meeting you.


When you are in hospital away from home it can feel a bit strange. But don’t worry as it can take you a little while to get used to it. It’s okay to miss the things you do at home and even school ! Some times you might feel happy, other times you may feel sad or scared. It’s okay to have all these feelings. If you want to talk about your feelings there are lots of people in hospital that you can talk to for example your parents/guardian, the play specialist, the psychologist and the nurses.

When you are in hospital you could be staying in a room with other patients or you could have your own room. Wherever you are staying you can put up your own posters and some of your own stuff around you.


While you’re staying in hospital try keep yourself busy when you not resting. If you have your own DVD player bring it in and you can keep it by your bed. The play specialist has DVD’s that you can borrow.

There is also lots of boardgames, puzzles or art activities for all ages, just ask the play specialist if you would like to do one.


The playroom is opened all day every day. The presses with the toys and art activities are only opened with the Supervision of the play specialist or play well volunteers 8am-3pm Monday to Friday.

Activities can be left out for you to have in the evening. Children are free to play in the playroom provided they are not in isolation and someone is there to watch them. If you are confined to your room Activities can be done there.

Going Home

When you are ready to go home, the pharmacist will give you some medicine to take with you. The clinical nurse specialist and the nursing team will work with you and your parents/guardians to prepare you for your return home. you will also be told when (or if!) you need to come back. Don’t forget to take everything with you, and say goodbye to everyone on the ward!

Being an Outpatient

When you arrive to the 4th floor of the Medical Tower for your outpatient's appointment, you must check in at the desk first. Then a nurse will call you so that you can get your weight, height, blood pressure and sats taken. The nurse may give you a slip of paper so that you can get your ECHO, ECG or Bloods done. These clinics are big and there a lots of outpatients, so there may be a delay, you'll have to wait your turn and then you will go to see your doctor.

Real Life Stories (Cormac McCafferty)


Real Life Story

my name is Cormac McCafferty. I am 11 years old right now. I was born on the 14th of June 1996. I was born in the Galway hospital. Two days after I was born I was sent up to Crumlin hospital in Dublin. When I arrived up in the hospital there was a man named Dr. Desmond Duff, and he came in to see what was wrong with me. He said I had a problem with my aorta, and my aortic valve. I also had a large hole called a VSD. Then I had to get an e.c.g. and an echo. Then I had my first operation, which was done by Mr. Nelligan. Then on the 12th of August 1996 I had my second operation, which was done by Freddy Wood. Then my third was a while later. It was by Freddy wood once again.

But nowadays I just go up for an e.c.g and echo once a year. The echo is really tickly to me, but not sore at all. It is just like jelly and there is a whooshing noise from the machine. The machine is called an echo Doppler and it was first used in World War 1. I now go to Dr Oslizlok and we talk about my heart. And my heart does not affect my health one bit. I play soccer for a club u-10. And even though I would have to give up soccer soon, I can still play guitar. My favourite tune at the moment is "Cannonball", by Damien Rice.

Real Life Stories (The Warfarin Trail)

This is what its like going for blood tests for all you paranoid, scaredy cats and cry- babies.

I'm Eoghan and I'm twelve.

Because I'm am on Warfarin I have to gets lots of blood tests done.

But if you see me doing it, I hope it will be easier for you.

To make it better I go for a sausage roll while the magic cream numbs my arm. Crumlin hospital has the best sausage rolls I have ever tasted. They are worth a blood test


Mmm, nice.


Getting ready.


The nurses are very nice.


Nearly done.


All done but not finished.

Then the nurses send my blood by a special machine to be tested in the Blood Laboratory.


Going going gone.

I went to see where my blood was tested in the Laboratory and met Sean and the other testers. They were very nice. I have some photographs of the Lab for you to see too.


It was Christmas time, we walked.     My blood test flew by machine.


Sean's the boss                                 My blood test goes into a mixer machine

They tell the doctor the results of my INR and he rings and tells us how many Warfarin tablets to take every day until my next blood test.

Going for a blood test sometimes means you have to miss school. HURRAH! And I'm collecting Hero stickers too. My bedroom door is nearly covered with them.


And now I have a Coaguk-Chek at home so I will only need to go to the hospital some times.

Good-bye and happy blood testing


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