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What Happens When

What Happens When?
Your Questions Answered

What happens before I go to stay in hospital?

Want to have a look around?

If you like, you can visit the hospital before you go in. Your mum or dad or carer can arrange this. It will give you a chance to have a look around and ask questions.

Packing your bag

It might take a bit of time to pack your bag before you go into hospital. Bring clothes for daytime and at night. Don't forget your toothbrush and toothpaste and anything you need every day. You may want to pack things like DVDs, computer games, IPODs or MP3 players clearly labelled with name, books and comics. If you're staying for more than a few days you'll also need to bring your school work. 

On the day

On the day you are going into hospital you need to turn up at the Central Admissions reception desk. Someone will ask for your name and other information and tell you which ward to go to.

What happens when I have a blood test?

When you have a blood test, it is done so that your blood can be checked. This will help the hospital to look after you.

Before you have the test you might be given a special cream that makes your skin go numb. But even if you don't have the cream, the blood test won't hurt much. The nurse or doctor will use a needle to take a small amount of blood (a blood sample). They usually take the blood from the inside of your elbow, your wrist or the back of your hand.

Afterwards you will be asked to press on the place where you had the test. This is to stop your arm from bruising. Then you will be given a plaster or bandage to put on your arm.

Let the nurse or doctor know if you feel weak or dizzy during the blood test.

Your blood sample is taken to a place called a laboratory where it is checked.


What happens when I have an x-ray?

X-rays make pictures of bones and tissues inside you. Doctors will send you to have an x-ray to find out if you have a broken bone or a problem with other parts of your body.

X-ray radiation can pass through most of the body but not through bones or some tissues. These areas will stand out on the picture made by the x ray machine. Then the doctor can have a good look at them.

The x-ray is taken by a radiologist. The radiologist will tell you where to stand or lie and then switch on the x-ray machine. The x-ray will pass through your body and create a picture on a film. It usually takes just a few minutes. It won't hurt you and there is no need to worry. Your mum or dad or carer can stay with you. When you have an x-ray it is really important to stay still, so that the picture is not blurry.

After the x-ray is developed you and the doctor will be able to see it against a light box or on a computer screen.


What happens when I have day surgery?

Read about what happened to Tom. His story tells you what happens when you come to hospital for day surgery.


What happens when I go to out-patients?

First of all go to the reception desk. The receptionist will make a note of your name and other details and then tell you where to sit. Sometimes you might have to wait for a while. But, don't worry, you will know it is your turn when a member of staff calls your name. They might want to check your height and weight, do a blood test or some other checks. They will talk to you about this.

After you have seen the doctor or nurse, your mum or dad or carer may need to make an appointment for you to come back to the hospital on another day.