Play week celebrated at RNOH
Children and staff at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital had a party with cake, jelly and ice cream last week as part of national celebrations marking Play in Hospital Week.
Senior Play Specialists Zoe Keates and Michelle Sicheri organised a special birthday party for all the patients, parents and staff on Coxen Adolescent Unit to celebrate the work they do with children and adolescents on a day to day basis.
Play in Hospital Week is a national event which happens annually across the UK and this year is a special year because it is the 50th Anniversary of Play in Hospital.
As play specialists, Zoe and Michelle help to prepare the patients before they go to theatre so they know what to expect and then provide lots of exciting activities to distract them from pain and discomfort during their recovery. They help to motivate the patients and encourage them to work through their fears and anxieties using play tools, and as a result of this the children learn coping strategies and become compliant with their treatments.
Zoe Keates said: "Coming into hospital can be a very scary and anxious environment for children and at the RNOH in Stanmore we strive to turn a scary environment into a natural one by providing normal everyday things that children and adolescents are familiar with, for example WII, X-Box and Play Station 3 consoles, internet access, laptops, games, arts and crafts etc. Encouraging the patients to bring in their own personal belongings as well makes their journey in hospital easier to cope with.
The party and display board which we made was an excellent opportunity for us to raise awareness of the benefits of play in the treatment of children in hospital. In fifty years our hospital has gone from strength to strength and treatments have really changed for the better"