Play in Hospitals : Real Life Perspectives book cover
1st Edition

Play in Hospitals
Real Life Perspectives

  • Available for pre-order on March 20, 2023. Item will ship after April 10, 2023
ISBN 9781032186252
April 10, 2023 Forthcoming by Routledge
312 Pages 52 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Exploring how practitioners make use of play’s developmental benefits and therapeutic healing properties to aid the child’s health care journey, this reflective book expands and enhances the knowledge base underlying the practice of play in hospitals. 


The work of health play specialists and child life specialists in hospitals in the UK and around the world requires a deep level of clinical knowledge, so that preparing children for procedures can be done with skill and precision. It builds on an understanding of both child development and the impact of traumatic experiences so that children’s deepest fears and biggest emotions can be faced without flinching. It also relies on an acceptance that play is the foundation of everything - the child’s safest, most natural space - and from this trust, strength and resilience can grow and be nurtured. This new edited text explores the breadth, depth and skills of these trained healthcare practitioners providing play for babies, children, young people and adults, and places the power of play squarely at the centre of most clinical settings. Its starting point of the theory that underpins practice is explored and developed through a combination of reflective essays, case study chapters from the UK and around the world, and the newly emerging use of play in diverse settings. 


Drawing on the collective work of over 30 play specialists, child life specialists, play service managers, lecturers and researchers, this book is unique in all it offers to paediatric practitioners and settings, in training and in practice. It is an important resource for healthcare play specialists, playworkers, children’s nurses, occupational therapists and more. 

Table of Contents

0.Introduction.  Part I: Theoretical underpinning.  1.The Development of the Role of Hospital Playworker.  2.Still a Deprived Environment for Children? Revisiting the Case for Hospital Play.  3.It Pays to Play! How I discovered cost effective play and the start of the MRI Awake List Project.  4.Support for Siblings during the Medical Journey.  5.The Elephant in the Room- Mental Health Illness in children and young people; can health play specialists make a difference?  6.The Hospital Playroom: A key part of children and young people’s care and recovery.  Part II: Personal Reflections on the Role of the Hospital Play Specialist.  7.My Journey.  8.The ‘Magic of Play’- Exploring the importance of play and distraction during medical procedures.  9.A Day in the Life of a HPS.  10.Teenagers in hospital- are they the forgotten age?  11.Specialised Play in the Hospital Setting.  12.The Angry Health Play Specialist.  Part III: Specific Case Studies.  13.Support for children and young people undergoing radiotherapy treatment.  14.Working with children and young people with autism in the Health Care Setting.  15.Virtual Reality: The new distraction therapy?  16.The role of the health play specialist in the care of children and young people with cancer.  17.Teenagers in Hospital.  18.Ship-shape and Bristol Standard fashion: The ‘why’, the ‘what’ and the ‘how’ of implementing the Bristol Standard within the practice of a hospital play team.  19.Managing a Play Team through the Covid Crisis.  Part IV: Reflections from around the world.  20.Oh! The Places You’ll Go! – A play specialist’s journey.  21.Play in two different ways- A Reflection on Play Practice in the United Arab Emirates.  22."G’Day!" A history of hospital play in an Australian Children’s Hospital.  23.Integrating Play in North American Hospitals- Historical and Current Approaches.  24.The Hospital Play Specialist Education Course in Japan: what we have achieved and what we need to overcome.  25.Let’s start with play- why play in the emergency department can be our best tool for interventions.  Part V: Playing in other ways and other settings.  26.Play in a children’s hospice- what’s the point?  27.The therapeutic power of playing with chronically abused children.  28.Play and the paradigm shift.  29.Playing Beyond the Boundaries- How the role of the health play specialist can benefit adults in healthcare.  30.Play with purpose: the therapeutic value of play for siblings of pediatrtic patients.  31.Taking hospital play into the home.  32.Concluding Thoughts.  x.Appendix- Useful Links


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Nicky Everett is Senior Lecturer at Leeds Beckett University, UK. Cath Hubbuck is Senior Health Play Specialist at Great Ormond Street Hospital, UK. Fraser Brown is Professor of Playwork at Leeds Beckett University, UK.