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ERIC Number: ED405109
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996
Pages: 19
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Implementing Play in Hospitals: Values and Viewpoints.
Kingson, Joan Fernbach; And Others
A panel of four child life specialists debated one another regarding the best approaches to structuring and supporting child life play practice within the changing health care system. Question 1 was, "What is the most appropriate role of senior child life staff?" The traditional playroom-based focus provides an opportunity for experienced staff to establish rapport, assess children's understanding of hospitalization or illness, identify preferred coping methods, and observe social skills interactions in a non-threatening setting. Because of changes in the health care delivery system, more severely ill children are served in the hospital setting and therefore, the most important role of the child life specialist is to facilitate children's mastery of health care encounters, primarily through focused interactions with children and families which may be translated directly into improved patient care and patient satisfaction. Playroom management should be delegated to less trained staff and volunteers. Question 2 was, "Should the Child Life Specialist's role in play be non-directive or directive?" Non-directed play provides an opportunity for children to work through feelings that they identify and are prepared to handle, rather than having adults imposing specific themes based on what they think is relevant. However, because changes in the health care setting have resulted in a loss of long-term patient contact, only through guided play can the specialist enable psychological preparation and "working-through" play. These extreme philosophical and practical positions have implications for training students in child life practice. (KDFB)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A