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Play Therapy For The Hospitalized Child
Transcript of Play Therapy For The Hospitalized Child
By: Amanda Parrish, CBU SN
Play and Recreation
Play and recreation are a natural part of childhood, and vital to normal development. Children are able to learn, master experiences, express themselves, cope with anxiety, create, achieve, and develop skills through play and recreational activity.
By observing children’s play and recreation, adults can learn about the child’s feelings, fears, concerns and misconceptions – information that is crucial in helping children deal with their healthcare experience.
Play also helps children learn to adapt to the healthcare experience. Play and recreation can be therapeutic by giving children the opportunity to explore, express and process their healthcare experiences in a safe, non-threatening environment.
What is the Problem?
As important as play therapy is for the hospitalized child, it is not being utilized on the Pediatric floor.
Improvement in the use and attainment of toys and safety on the Pediatric floor is the goal.
This problem was selected because the need for play therapy is prevalent on the Pediatric floor.
Implementing play therapy will improve patient outcomes by aiding children toward better social integration, growth and development while in the hospital setting.
Healthy People 2020
Early childhood is a time of tremendous physical, cognitive, and socio-emotional development.
Middle childhood is a time when children develop skills for building healthy social relationships and learn roles that will lay ground work for a lifetime
During early childhood, the human brain grows to 90 percent of its adult size by age 3.4. Early childhood represents the period when young children reach developmental milestones that include:
Emotional regulation and attachment
All of these milestones can be significantly delayed when young children experience environmental stressors and other negative risk factors. These stressors and factors can affect the brain and may seriously compromise a child’s physical, social-emotional, and cognitive growth and development.
Through play therapy, adults are able to communicate with children while helping them develop essential developmental skills they need to grow and thrive.
What Was Implemented?
In the play room, the toy cabinets were organized and arranged by developmental age.
Each cabinet has been labeled and a nurses "cheat sheet" has been made (each correlating with one another).
This will make it easier for the nurses to find an age appropriate toy for each child.
In using the toys available by correct developmental age, this will aid the children in appropriate development while avoiding any safety issues.
This is only a small step in the direction of better utilization of play therapy.
Hopefully the use of the organized toy cabinets will serve as a foundation for bigger goals in the future.
This quality improvement project can easily be used on the Pediatric floor, however; the compliance of the nurses is essential.
Diversional/recreational play: commonly used for personal enjoyment, to combat boredom, and to facilitate normalization
Developmentally supportive play: supports any and all aspects of the child’s development
Therapeutic play: facilitates expression, coping and mastery of the healthcare experience and helps to facilitate achievement of healthcare goals.
Types of Play in the Healthcare Setting
Child Life, Education and Creative Arts Therapy. (1996). In The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia . Retrieved from http://www.chop.edu/service/child-life-education-and-creative-arts-therapy/childrens-needs-and-helping-kids-cope/importance-of-play-and-recreation-during-hospitalization.html.
Early and Middle Childhood . (2013). In Healthy People.Gov. Retrieved from http://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/topicsobjectives2020/overview.aspx?topicId=10.
The hope is to grow the vision and one day hire a play therapist for the Pediatric floor.
In doing so, children would gain necessary developmental skills needed in the various types of play seen in the healthcare setting.