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Play for Children at Wycombe Hospital

Play for Children at Wycombe Hospital

On Wednesday 26th of April, the Year 12 Level 3 Childcare students visited the outpatients ward at Wycombe Hospital. Children in hospital have to be cared for sensitively, because they often do not understand the implications of the procedure they have to undergo.

The Year 12s had the unique opportunity to talk to play specialist, Catherine Stevens. She explained how she uses play to demystify the medical procedure for a child before surgery and as a way to help a child process the events that happen in hospital. Also, an important part of her job is to offer play as a distraction.  A sample of her resources were shared with our students: the playroom; a photograph story of children having surgery, and having an MRI scan;  a tour of the ward;and the rooms where children have blood tests and lumbar punctures.

It was shocking to learn that there is no government money for the play budget, despite its importance to the welfare of an ill child: all the toys, games and colouring pens are donated, or bought through the ward’s Amazon wish-list.

The trip opened the students minds to being a play-specialist, as a career option, after completing the Childcare Level 3 course. Just as importantly,  the Year 12s gained much useful information to support them in their written work.


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