The following are guidelines that need to be adhered to in relation to safe-guarding children when working in a hospital environment and engaging with patients and staff:
When arriving at the hospital please sign in using the CIH attendance sheet.
Before a volunteer begins their shift, please ensure to wear the correct uniform i.e., Light casual clothing, comfortable shoes and CIH t-shirt or tabard with name badge placed in a visible position.
It is CIH policy that 2 volunteers should always work together on a ward; in circumstances where there is just one volunteer on duty, this will be prearranged, and he or she will work under the supervision of a hospital staff member.
Working as a pair means being visible to, or in contact with, another volunteer or member of staff.
Once you arrive at your destination in the hospital, make sure to introduce yourself to the nurse manager or play specialist on duty. They may inform you of what rooms/cubicles not to go to and which ones are a priority, as well as any other relevant information. Do ask if there is anything further you need to know or that any child cannot play with.
Prior to entering a child’s single or isolation room/cubicle, inform a member of the hospital staff that you are doing so. There should be no attendance in single unit rooms without permission.
Ensure that you leave the door and curtains open and if in the playroom leave the door open.
You should be seen at all times and be able to receive support should you need it.
Take a child off the ward or get involved in tasks of a personal nature (e.g., changing nappies or clothing, toilet etc.)
Take videos or photographs of any child in hospital
In some instances, a volunteer may be asked by nursing staff to hold a baby or walk a patient from their ward or room to the playroom. Even though this request comes from a member of the nursing staff, it remains the volunteer’s choice whether or not to carry out the task. It is safest to ask a guardian or nurse to lift the child to you, and to ask if there are tubes or wounds you need to be careful of.
There are additional health concerns and permissions that must be asked for from a nursing staff member in advance of entering an isolation room and guidance on all health procedures.
In some cases it may not be possible to go into these rooms.
Isolation room doors will need to remain closed for infection control.
Curtains should be open at all times and volunteers should remain visible.
Staff and fellow volunteers should know the volunteer is present in the room.
Volunteers may and should only do what they are comfortable with, and may say no at any time if they are asked to enter an isolation room and they are not comfortable to so.