Territory Stories

Adolescent Ward at Royal Darwin Hospital



Adolescent Ward at Royal Darwin Hospital

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NT Youth Round Table


Northern Territory. Department of the Chief Minister. Office of Youth Affairs


NT Youth Round Table newsletter; E-Journals; PublicationNT; NT Youth Round Table newsletter






This publication contains may contain links to external sites. These external sites may no longer be active.; Made available via the Publications (Legal Deposit) Act 2004 (NT).




Chief Minister's Round Table of Young Territorians; Youth Services; Youth; Periodicals

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Northern Territory Government

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NT Youth Round Table newsletter


Newsletter 20 November 2014

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Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

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Northern Territory Government



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3 | P a g e entire ward dedicated to the treatment and recovery of 13 to 18 year olds. The next step in this project was to conduct research to find samples of other wards within hospitals across Australia and the rest of the world. Through interviews and surveys with employees who work at the RDH and young patients and their families at the hospital, information has been gathered with a strong indication that there needs to be a better suited and age appropriate environment at the RDH for young people. Key stakeholders in this investigation included the RDH, including staff, patients and families and headspace. The families and caregivers of the patients are the most important stakeholders within this investigation as without the support network of family and friends young people start to feel isolated and signs of mental health issues could arise. The NSW Guidelines for the Care of Children and Adolescents in Acute Care Settings indicates that an aim of any hospital administering support to adolescents should be to recognise the special psychological needs of adolescents in hospital and encourage and enable carers to provide necessary emotional support during times of high stress. An example given is to develop facilities which enable carers to stay by the bedside of a sick child or adolescent. This would have significant benefits for the stressed parents as well4. Overview of Survey The survey (Attachment A) was conducted with 73 participants ranging between 14 and 18 years old. The survey questions aimed to identify emotions and personal experiences that young people have had while in hospital in the NT. The survey was distributed through social media and by hand, with 73 responses. From the respondents there was a fairly even number of female and male participants, with 56.2% being female. A total of 26.4% of the respondents were Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander. When asked, 78.1% of participants stated that they would prefer staying in an area with other patients around the same age. At least 78.8% of young people surveyed indicated that they believed it was important that an adolescent ward be established at the RDH, stating that it would make the experience more tolerable as they would be able to converse and interact with other people going through the same social phases and developmental stages. Interview with the Adolescent Health Nurse, RDH Ms Erin Evans, the Adolescent Clinical Nurse Coordinator (CNC) at the RDH, was interviewed as part of this project. It was established that between 8 and 12 young people present to RDH each day with the figures excluding those in the Outpatients Department. Ms Evans also stated that at the moment there is no physically designated area for adolescents within the hospital but they do try to accommodate the young patients within the Paediatric Unit, however the patients who are at the 4 NSW Kids and Families, 2010

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