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Innovation at Prince Charles Hospital’s Fracture Clinic

Thanks to the innovation of staff at Prince Charles Hospital’s Fracture Clinic, Year Three pupils of Gwaunfarren Primary School are now a little less fearful of visiting the hospital’s plaster room should they break a bone.

Fracture clinic_POThe children and their teachers visited the Fracture Clinic to meet staff and to be introduced to ‘Mr Tickle’ – the saw, in the plaster room.

The idea was the brainchild of Paul Morris, Orthopaedic Practitioner and Staff Nurse Carol Cooper. The idea of inviting children into the department arose after having to deal with lots of tears in the plaster room when the time came to have plaster casts removed.

Paul said: “Children come into the plaster room with fear written all over their faces due to various horror stories they have been told about the saw.”

The visit began with the children meeting Lisa Williams, Consultant Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgeon, who answered lots of questions about the human body and fractures.

Play Leaders Cath Acock and Susan Parry showed the children how to take blood pressure and pulse readings, and Mike Davies, the University Health Board’s Trauma Co-ordinator explained what would happen should they have to come into hospital.

The next part of the visit was to the plaster room, and one of the teachers was heard to say: “I’ve been dreading this.”

But all went smoothly. Following an explanation of what happens in the plaster room, the children were invited to remove a cast and everyone had a go. Paul said: “I was amazed that no-one mentioned the noise the saw made.”

Sister Angela Rich said: “I thought it was a fun and informative day for the children.

Louise Bibby, Head Teacher of Gwaunfarren Primary School said: “The pupils thoroughly enjoyed the visit - it has certainly enhanced their learning experiences beyond the classroom.

“While it is possible to learn some basic concepts in class, there is no substitute for real experience in the wider world.

“The visit to the fracture clinic provided a great opportunity for pupils to gain first hand experience of what it involves and a greater understanding of how things work in the real world. It is an experience that they will never forget.”

It is hoped that other local schools will visit the department in the future.

Staff Nurse Carol Cooper said: “It was a really enjoyable experience and hopefully this will give children a better insight into the type of work we do and hopefully allay any fears they have on visiting the plaster room.”

Representatives from BSN Medical also participated in the visit, as the company had set up a National casting day on November 6 2014. Stephen George, Territory Account Manager said: “We hope the visit has overcome any fears or misconceptions the children may have had and if they should ever endure a broken bone the whole experience should be a little more familiar and hopefully less traumatic.”

Source: Cwm Taf University Health Board