Child Centered Play in Healthcare Settings
Play can aid in the development of the nursing therapeutic relationship, and it can also be used as an assessment tool. Using medical play can decrease anxiety, and assist with specific issues like needle phobia. Play therapy is a powerful intervention for children but not all hospitals or clinics will have access to a formal Play Therapist. Paediatric nurses are well placed to incorporate aspects of play into their work with children and families.
As a child, Deborah survived a dire prognosis when born with a rare congenital skin disorder. As a result, she spent a lot of time in hospital as a child and did not receive any child life services. Deborah knows the importance of pain and trauma prevention first hand and because of this, she has felt a calling to this work.
Deborah says, “I experience much joy in it, so I know I took the best path for me”. She has been certified as a child life specialist in 1993 with some of her happiest career moments including keynoting at the Child Life Council International Summit on Pediatric Psychosocial Care, presenting at the United Nations, and teaching abroad in Japan and the Czech Republic.