In the health care clinic on Erub (Darnley Island) in the Torres Strait, books supplied by our Foundation are proving to be a huge bonus in both the consulting rooms and the waiting room.
Clinical Nurse Consultant Carol Scott often uses the books as a diversion, especially when her younger patients are undergoing a minor surgical procedure.
“They work really well as a distraction, for instance if a child is having a cannula inserted for IV treatment.”
The health care staff work closely with the speech therapist on the island, as well as the school, with the shared aim of improving the children’s language and literacy development. In the waiting room at the clinic, Carol has set up a reading corner with a little table and chairs donated by the school. She puts out three to four books in each age group and rotates them weekly.
“Having something to read to the kids while waiting to be seen really helps. And it’s great to see the parents reading to their kids.”
Books that are culturally appropriate, with Indigenous content and that feature animals recognisable to the kids are very popular, especially “anything with crocs, crabs and sharks”, like Crabbing with Dad (by Paul Seden, Magabala Books, 2016).
Since the books have been available at the clinic Carol says they’ve made a real difference, not only in her own nursing practice in this small, remote community but also in the development of the children’s literacy skills.
“The children now pick up books to read and already know some of the words … [And they] appear to really enjoy this activity, especially with their parents.”
Some parents have begun asking if they could borrow a book or two overnight, bringing them back to the clinic the next day.
“They’re such beautiful quality books, absolutely fantastic … The parents are very impressed by them and really value them … We are all so, so grateful.”
- Posted 14 September, 2018