Hospital/health play specialist

Two males sitting with female child playing with toy

A day as a hospital/health play specialist

You're based at your local NHS hospital children's ward and your shift begins at 7.30am. Your first task of the day will be to set the playroom up with toys and activities for any child who is able to visit the playroom. It is important for this room to be inviting as it will encourage children and parents to get to know others on the ward and be comfortable in their surroundings.

Children may be anxious if it is their first time in hospital and you will use play to encourage them to join in with the activities and discuss what they know about hospitals and why they are there. Some children undergo painful and invasive procedures which they may find hard to cope with: you will prepare the child for this by using play to help them understand what is happening to them.

You will organise play for babies, children or teenagers who have to stay in their own room. During the day you meet members of the team including nurses, doctors, dietitians and physiotherapists who may want to discuss the treatment and care of the patients and how your play activities have been incorporated into the care plan. You will write down the observations that you made of your patients as they played and talked as well as planning tomorrow's activities before finishing your shift.