Thousands of children attending the Women’s and Children’s Hospital for a SA Pathology test will soon be greeted by the welcome distraction of roaring lions, majestic manatees and mischievous meerkats.
The Hospital is today announcing a partnership with the world-famous San Diego Zoo and the Adelaide Zoo which will provide a video channel, and live stream footage, jam-packed with friendly animals for children undergoing tests.
Minister for Health and Wellbeing, Stephen Wade, said that given children can sometimes find a hospital visit overwhelming, this partnership allows South Australian children to be distracted from the hospital environment by enjoying vision of zoo animals from around the corner and all the way from the United States.
“It is important that children across the state feel comfortable during their hospital experiences and throughout their health journey.
"We are proud to implement the San Diego Zoo Kids Channel into the Women’s and Children’s Hospital (WCH),” Minister Wade said.
“We hope children will become more comfortable visiting the hospital for appointments through this initiative, which offers up-close video encounters with animals, interactive quizzes, stories about caring for animals and their habitats, and a wide variety of short videos about the animals.”
The exciting new initiative comes on top of the Marshall Government’s $50 million in upgrades to parts of the neonatal nurseries, operating theatres, the paediatric emergency department and adolescent mental health unit at the WCH.
SA Pathology Clinical Services Director, Dr Tom Dodd, said San Diego Zoo Kids channel offers family friendly, animal-oriented stories that are entertaining, educational, and distracting for children undergoing sometimes uncomfortable tests.
“We are always looking for ways to brighten our patients’ day and make them more comfortable while undergoing procedures, such as blood and urine tests or biopsies, to ensure they’re not scared to come back in the future,” Dr Dodd said.
“We are proud to partner with WCH, Zoos South Australia, and the San Diego Zoo to bring fun and educational videos for the children of South Australia to make their hospital experience as easy as possible.”
Women’s and Children’s Health Network Executive Director of Corporate Services, Phil Robinson, said the anxiety leading up to pathology tests can be more overwhelming than the pain for children and families.
“Using these videos as a distraction tool makes it possible to transport children out of the room where their procedure is being performed, reducing stress and anxiety.
“We are excited to see how this fantastic initiative will benefit our patients and we look forward to seeing the smiles on their faces.”
San Diego Zoo Kids first began in 2013 and is now installed in 234 children’s hospitals and Ronald McDonald Houses across America, Mexico, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Pakistan, Qatar, Curaçao and South Africa.