Staff listened and new processes were put in place to help transitioning become a more pleasant and smoother experience
Having had my accident at the young age of 2, I spent the majority of my childhood in and out of the children’s burns service, whether that be for operations, scar management, outpatients or annual checkups. As time goes on you get to know the staff and attend burns camps which all makes your time spent admitted to hospital a much more comfortable and less daunting experience. which is important to both you as a child and your family.
When I got to the age of 15 the children’s team just mentioned one day that I would be transitioning into the adult services for further surgery. We didn’t know what to expect or to what extent things would change. At the point of my transition there were no processes in place by way of introduction into the new adult service. Everything was overlooked and I felt like I was thrown in the deep end. There were no familiar faces around, the surroundings were strange, no parents to hold your hand while going to theatre, the whole routine had changed. Without any prior warning. at a young age of 15-16, it was a lot to take in. Not only that, I was going through other changes in my life too. New college, new friends, surroundings and new people to accept you for who you are not the “the new burnt kid”.
This did all start to change. Staff listened and new processes were put in place to help transitioning become a more pleasant and smoother experience. Previously this was all overlooked and taken for granted. In our service they also started up a young adult burns camp which really helped too. You get to know the staff and express your fears and concerns about the big change. Having a burns injury in some cases is hard enough to manage and cope with on a daily basis. Having people stare and point in public and treat you differently can be hard and is more challenging when you are a young adult, as can moving into new schools, colleges and new work places. Your self esteem can get knocked so easily so having things in place such as a Young Adult burns camp, or something as a simple as an introduction to the new burns unit, meeting staff and having resources available to help you along the way is the greatest help of all!