Staff from KGH’s children’s wards are holding a “Well Bear” clinic as part of national Play in Hospital Week next week (September 20-25).
The aim is to help children to feel more comfortable about a visit to hospital by asking them to come in for a fun visit and to bring in a teddy bear (or other cuddly toy) for a check up.
The actual Clinic is on Saturday, September 25, from 10am-2pm at Timpson Ward at KGH.
Play in Hospital Week is organised by National Association of Hospital Play Staff and play specialists in local hospitals take part in it to help people to understand their roles.
Trisha Brigden, Play Co-ordinator at KGH, said: “The aim of the national week is to raise awareness of the work of play specialists.
“We work within the hospital, and within the local community, to help children to feel more comfortable and reassured when they visit hospital.
“Hospital play specialists are usually qualified nursery nurses who have undergone a year of specialised training to enable them to work in a hospital environment.
“In the hospital their job is to distract children from the potentially worrying medical procedures they are undergoing and to help them stay positive and happy.
“We also work very closely with parents and carers to ensure that the child’s time in hospital is as pain and worry free as possible.”
Play specialists organise activities in the hospital’s play room such as painting, crafts, and games. They work with the children to produce bright and eye-catching wall displays and use special dolls, books and videos to help children understand what is about to happen to them when they need a medical procedure.
Play specialists also make regular visits to schools where they help to dispel myths about what happens in hospital and help reassure children should they ever need to go there.
Trisha said: “On Saturday, September 25, we will be inviting local children to bring along their Teddy Bear, or other cuddly toy, for a check up.
“This will allow them to see that the hospital is a friendly and welcoming place with nothing to be frightened of.”