Hospital Procedure Videos

What? Why? Children in Hospital

What? Why Hospital Videos

These video clips are aimed at parents and children aged 7-12 to show what happens during hospital procedures and to prepare them before their appointment.   Not knowing what is going to happen can make children anxious.

Parents can show these videos to their child before their appointment to help them understand what is going to happen in hospital.

Having an X-Ray

An x-ray is a procedure that's often used to produce images of the inside of the body.

It's a very effective way of looking at fractured bones, such as a broken arm or wrist.

X-rays can also be used to examine organs and identify problems.  For example, an x-ray can highlight a lung infection, such as pnemonia.

X-rays are carried out by Radiographers.

This video shows the X-ray machine and the special coat or other protection parents and children might have to wear.


Having a CT Scan

A Computerised Tomography (CT) Scan uses X-rays and a computer to create detailed images of the inside of the body.  CT Scan are sometimes referred to as CAT scans or computed tomography scans.

CT scans can produce detailed images of many structures inside the body, including the internal organs, blood vessels and bones.



Having an Ultrasound

An ultrasound scan, sometimes called a sonogram, is a procedure that uses high-frequency sound waves to create an image of part of the inside of the body.

A small device called an ultrasound probe is used, which gives off high-frequency sound waves.

You can't hear these sound waves, but when they bounce off different parts of the body, they create "echoes" that are picked up by the probe and turned into a moving image.

This image is displayed on a monitor while the scan is carried out.

This video shows the Ultrasound probe and the gel used to make special pictures.

Having an MRI Scan

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a type of scan that uses strong magnetic fields and radio waves to produce detailed images of the inside of the body.

An MRI scanner is a large tube that contains powerful magnets.

An MRI scan can be used to examine almost any part of the body, including the

  • Brain and Spinal Cord
  • Bones and Joints
  • Heart and Blood Vessels
  • Internal Organs, such as the liver

MRI scans are carried out by Radiographers.


Having an Electroencephalogram (EEG) Scan

An Electroencephalogram (EEG) is a painless test that records brain activity.

When the brain cells send messages to each other, they produce tiny electrical signals.  In an EEG test, electrodes (flat metal discs) are placed onto your scalp  using a sticky substance.  These electrodes pick up the electrical signals from your brain and send them to an EEG machine, which will record the signals as wavy lines onto paper or on a computer.

Having an Echocardiogram

An Echocardiogram, sometimes called an Echo, is an ultrasound scan of the heart.

It can help identify any other heart problems and assess the structure and function of the heart and valves.

The physiologists uses stickers, electrodes, jelly and an ultrasound sensor to look at your child's heart.

Having an ECG Scan

An Electrocardiogram (ECG) is a test that records the electrical activity of the heart.  The ECG reflects what's happening in different areas of the heart and helps identify any problems with the rhythm or rate of your heart. 

The physiologists uses stickers, electrodes and a machine to record signals from the heart.

Getting an Ambulatory ECG (Heart Monitor)

This video shows how the heart monitor is fitted in hospital and what the doctors suggest you do if any of the sensors come off. Children and their parents can feel anxious when the doctors tell them they need to wear a heart monitor. The heart monitor is used to look at your child's heart rhythm when they are at home, in school, doing sports and sleeping. Most monitors need to be worn for 24 or 48 hours but some will be used for a month.

Having a Pulmonary Function (Breathing) Test

A Pulmonary Function (Breathing) Test assesses how well your lungs work.  This test measures how quickly you can move air in and out of your lungs, how much air they can hold and how well they transfer oxygen into and remove carbon dioxide from your blook.

The test requires you to breathe in and out a lung function machine.

Having to wear nose pegs and going into a big glass box with the door closed can make children anxious, so looking at the video before you go to hospital can help children and parents prepare.

Cardio Pulmonary Exercise Test

Having to wear a face mask, electrodes and getting their blood pressure measured during a test on an exercise bike can make children anxious. This video will help families prepare for the test.

Having a Cardiopulmonary Exercise Test (CPET)

A Cardiopulmonary Exercise Test (CPET) lets the hospital see how your lungs, heart and muscles react together when you exercise.  While you walk on a treadmill, they will measure how much air you breathe, how much oxygen you need, and how fast and efficiently your heart beats when you exercise.

If you have been told to have a CPET then it may be worth watching this video made by WWCIH Charity, so you know what to expect at your hospital appointment.

Having a Nerve Conduction Study

The doctor uses electrodes, gel and electrical stimulation to test if your child's nerves are working properly.

Polysomnography Sleep Study

Having to stay overnight in hospital for a Sleep Study can make parents and children anxious. This video by the What? Why? Children in Hospital charity shows you what happens when your baby or child needs to have a Polysomnography Sleep Study. It shows the sensors used to check your child's brain, heart, breathing and muscle movement.


Breathing Mask (NIV, CPAP) at Night

This video shows children and parents what happens when you need to be fitted for a breathing mask to wear at night. This is also called Non Invasive Ventilation (NIV) and can be a CPAP or BiPAP mask. Trying on the mask for the first time can feel really strange and it takes some time to get used to but it doesn't hurt.

DMSA Renal Scan (Nuclear Medicine)

This video shows children what happens when doctors check if your kidneys are healthy using a DMSA (Dimercaptosuccinic Acid) scan. You get a small amount of radioactivity in this nuclear medicine test and then you need to wait a few hours before your scan. This video helps children and parents to see the difference between a DMSA and a MAG3 scan.


MAG3 Renal Scan (Nuclear Medicine)

Scarlett shows children and parents what happens when your child needs to have their kidneys checked with a MAG3 Renal Scan. A small amount of radioactivity is used for this nuclear medicine test. 

Hearing Screen for Newborn Babies

Hearing screening programmes are used to see if a newborn baby has hearing problems. The hearing screen is done in hospital in the days after the baby is born. This video shows 10 day old Caoimhe sleeping while she is having the hearing screen. This video shows what happens in the screen and how long it takes.


Hearing Test for Babies

This diagnostic hearing test for babies is used when a concern was raised at the newborn hearing screen or at a later stage. This video shows what happens during the diagnostic hearing test and why the test works best when your baby is sleeping.

Hearing Test for Children

In this video two toddlers come to hospital for a hearing test. Different sounds and toys are used to test the child's hearing. Their (grand)parents ask questions to find out if it's a problem if their child finds it hard to sit still and what it means when their child doesn't respond to a sound.


Exercise Tolerance Test (Stress Test)

This video shows what happens when your child needs to have an Exercise Tolerance Test on the treadmill. This test is used to see how your child's heart works under exercise stress. Not knowing what is going to happen can make children and their parents anxious. This video shows how children need to walk on the treadmill and all the sensors which will be used.

Joint Injection for Juvenile Arthritis (JIA)

Niamh and Stephanie show what happens during joint injections using Entonox. They have Juvenile Arthritis (JIA, paediatric rheumatic disease) which can make their joints inflamed and swollen. The joint injection helps to reduce the swelling in their knees. Entonox, which is also called laughing gas, makes them giggle and works as pain relief. Drew also uses cold spray to numb the knee. Both girls said they didn't feel the injection, which is brilliant! For younger children the joint injection is done under General Anaesthetic, but when the child is old enough they can try using Entonox . Parents can watch this video themselves or together with their child before the appointment depending on the age and ability of the child.


Skin Prick Test

Sophie has a Skin Prick Test: little drops are placed on her arm and a small lancet is used to make tiny pricks through the top layer of her skin. Sophie is very happy and relieved when she finds out this doesn't hurt. This test is used to check for allergies.

Sweat Test (Cystic Fibrosis)

This video shows children what happens in a sweat test. The physiologist explains they do the test to diagnose or rule out Cystic Fibrosis. Annelise first has electrodes on her arm and then a sweat collector. The test doesn't hurt but she feels lots of tingles in her arm. Parents can watch this video themselves or together with their child before the appointment depending on the age and ability of the child.


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